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Author: asciutto

Why Americans aren’t revolting: Government owns the media

Marty Kaplan, director of USC Annenberg’s Norman Lear Center, appeared on Moyers & Company to explain why Americans aren’t following the path of Brazilians to seek political reform. “We have unemployment and hunger and crumbling infrastructure and a tax system of whack and a corrupt political system,” he said. “Why are we not also taking to the streets is the question.” Kaplan said that present-day American journalism’s focus on “infotainment” distracts the public from paying attention to issues of high national importance. “The stuff that is being reported on the news tends not to be the kind of stuff that we need to…

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Traveling the South Pacific

It’s taken me a few days to sit down to write. When you realize the end of a life-changing journey has arrived, it’s difficult to digest. The people with whom I’ve shared some of the highest and lowest moments of my young life will be out of the picture in five days. “Temporary” goodbyes become more permanent with each passing day, and promises to stay in touch prove to be nothing more than coping mechanisms to dull the pain of the present fading into the past. This is where I now stand. I am lucky to have spent the past week…

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Media Education in the South Pacific: Problems Facing the Industry

The South Pacific, rich in cultural, linguistic, political and socioeconomic diversity, is home to an incredibly complex media landscape. Though well-established in New Zealand and Australia, the media industry is continuously evolving to meet the challenges of national development and political instability throughout the Pacific Islands. Across the board, insufficient resources, government restrictions and a deficiency of formally trained journalists plague regional media. “Criticism in the region focuses on lack of professional training of journalists, poor educational standards, lack of knowledge of the political and social institutions, cultural insensitivities, and a questionable grasp of ethical issues,” wrote Professor David Robie,…

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NZ Trade Mission to PNG Highlights Economic Growth Between the Pacific Nations

A group of 30 New Zealand representatives with public- and private-sector interests is visiting Papua New Guinea for a week-long trade mission. For the fifth time in the last two years, the New Zealand Papua New Guinea Business Council has organised a mission that reflects the growing economic relationship between the Pacific nations. This delegation — a joint venture between the NZPNG Business Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise — will largely focus on infrastructural development. Read more here.

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Censorship and press regulations in the Pacific

Across the Pacific, advocates of media freedom hosted many World Press Freedom Day celebrations this year. Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the Solomon Islands were among the countries to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the UNESCO event on May 3, which focuses upon securing freedom of expression in all forms of media. According to UNESCO, more than 600 journalists have been killed globally in the last decade — 121 died last year alone. “All these journalists had one thing in common,” says Tim McBride, deputy chair of New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO communications sub-commission. “They…

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Letting the world change you

It’s always difficult to come home from a vacation, especially when you’ve got mounds of work to finish. I suppose my last act of procrastination, and the last leg of my holiday, will be here at the keyboard recounting my week in the South Island of New Zealand. On the 23 of April, a group of us set out from Auckland to Queenstown at 4 AM. The misery of that bus ride is indescribable. When you get into Queenstown, you’re greeted by this tiny city surrounded by breathtaking mountains and lakes. It’s small, pretty squared off but packed with restaurants,…

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Bombs and ballots

The past seven days have been the most news-packed in recent memory: Venezuelan elections, the Boston bombings (and subsequent manhunt), the Texas fertilizer plant explosion, China and Iran’s earthquakes, New Zealand passing marriage equality legislation and, in a more recent development, the United States doubling their aid to Syrian allies — over 60,000 have died since the beginning of the fight against Assad. It’s difficult to sift through these events and try to make much sense out of them individually. When you have natural disasters, terrorist attacks, acts of social progression, political regression and genocide happening in the same 100-hour…

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Beginning of something

Underage prostitution is a growing issue in Auckland and the Pacific. Girls as young as 13 are working the streets in low-income communities, and some close to the situation report that they’re being pimped by relatives and sexually exploited at home. For my first reporting experience in the Pacific, I took a look into this issue, and here’s what I found out. http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2013/04/moves-to-tackle-sexual-exploitation-of-young-girls-in-nz-fiji-and-png/

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The Tauranga Chapter

It’s been a little over a month since my arrival to this side of the Pacific, and the homesickness is starting to kick in ever so slightly. I miss the sound of mariachi static and tamale vendors, the taste of horchata with carne asada mixed with a splash of smog. I miss my adopted city of Los Angeles and all the people, trials and tribulations that come with it. That’s not to say that I’m not loving my extended study-vacation in Aotearoa. I was able to find a slice of Latin America last Thursday night at Circolombia: Urban. This incredible…

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Rest In Peace, Comandante

Words cannot express my sadness at the passing of Hugo Chávez. A visionary. Though there will be celebrations in streets across the United States tonight, I believe we lost an incredible man, an idealistic warrior who stood up to the government of the United States and told them to go fuck themselves. We will now, undeniably and unfortunately, see turmoil and chaos in this country for a good while. What Chávez instilled could only be upheld by Chávez himself, and the institutions that he created across a continent will now suffer a slow death. It’s not to say that he…

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