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Vanuatu publisher tells of brutal ordeal at hands of ‘political gang’

Marc Neil-Jones

Vanuatu Daily Post publisher Marc Neil-Jones: Upset with silence from Prime Minister's Office. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Alex Perrottet, contributing editor of Pacific Media Watch

Almost a week after a brutal attack on a newspaper publisher in Vanuatu, allegedly involving a cabinet minister, nothing has been done and no comment has been issued from the office of Prime Minister Sato Kilman.

Marc Neil-Jones, publisher of the Vanuatu Daily Post, has weathered 17 years in Vanuatu, during which he has been assaulted, deported, locked up in jail and regularly intimidated.

The latest assault occurred on Friday, when a gang of eight men entered the newspaper’s offices, then burst into Neil-Jones’s room and brutally assaulted him. The ringleader of the gang was allegedly the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Harry Iauko. Read more »

Pacific media condemn minister ‘and his thugs’ for attack on Daily Post

Vanuatu Daily Post

Vanuatu Daily Post's front page report today of an alleged assault by supporters of Public Utilities Minister Harry Iauko. Image: PMC

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By the Pacific Media Centre news desk

Pacific media organisations have reacted with outrage over a violent attack on the Vanuatu Daily Post allegedly led by a cabinet minister with the newspaper publisher vowing to bring assault charges against those involved.

The mid-afternoon attack happened yesterday when Public Utilities Minister Harry Iauko led a group of men into the newspaper office who allegedly assaulted publisher Marc Neil-Jones, threatened his editor and other staff, according to a Daily Post front page report today. Read more »

Vanuatu: Rival media clash in slanging match over radio licence

Vanuatu Times

The pro-indigenous media article in the Vanuatu Times.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Alex Perrottet of Pacific Media Watch

Rivalry between Vanuatu media figures has come to a head with a slanging match between the Vanuatu Times and the Vanuatu Daily Post.

The disagreement is based around Vanuatu Daily Post publisher Marc Neil-Jones’ recent application for a broadcasting licence with the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation (VBTC).

The Media Asosiesen blong Vanuatu (MAV) has opposed the application on the grounds that the media industry should be included in the reserve list of operations that are restricted to indigenous ni-Vanuatu. Read more »

Pacific journalists at loggerheads on media freedom issues

Marc Neil-Jones

Vanuatu Daily Post publisher Marc Neil-Jones (centre) with staff in Port Vila. Photo: Daily Post

Despite strong sentiment among media people in the Pacific that censorship is harming the quality of news, divisions run deep between former colleagues and co-workers about the best way to move ahead in the fight for media freedom.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Alex Perrottet of Pacific Media Watch

Freedom of the press may be taken for granted in many Western countries, but in some Pacific nations it is a far-off ideal. Although Fiji is the only country to have recently enshrined news control into law with the Media Industry Development Decree, other media people in the Pacific have experienced draconian sanctions on their reporting.

Vanuatu Daily Post publisher Marc Neil-Jones has had many run-ins with authorities. Read more »

Vanuatu Daily Post publisher defends education debate coverage

Pacific Press Release – Pacific Media Watch, 17 September 2009

6441 VANUATU PUBLISHER DEFENDS EDUCATION DEBATE COVERAGE

PORT VILA (Radio NZ International/Pacific Media Watch): The publisher of the Daily Post in Vanuatu says his paper did not mislead the public in debating proposed curriculum changes.
Read more »