News Corp Not Supporting Pacific Islands Forum Boycott As Nauru Bans ABC Journalists

July 06, 2018

News Corp is not supporting a boycott by sections of Australia's media of Nauru’s Pacific Islands Forum despite the ABC being banned from covering the event.

The Nauru government banned the ABC from attending and covering the forum, citing the broadcaster’s ‘bias and false reporting’ as its motivation - that's something Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi says he can understand.

The ban will impact the pool of journalists, cameraman and photographers slated to attend the event.

Press gallery president David Crowe says, “The decision by the Government of Nauru to pick and choose the journalists who cover the Pacific Islands Forum is an appalling restriction on press freedom.”

Despite the support of Fairfax Media and the Australian Associated Press, The Australian's managing editor Helen Trinka as well as The Daily Telegraph political editor Sharri Markson have both come out against the boycott.

“There will be a camera operator, an AAP reporter and an AAP photographer. We believe it is essential that any trips by our prime minister should be covered by Australian journalists so we do not support a boycott,” Trinka said.

Meanwhile, Markson posted this a tweet calling the boycott “ludicrous”.

Speaking on the ban and boycott, ABC news director Gaven Morris said, “The ABC does not intend to vacate our position in the media pool covering the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru.

“The Nauruan government should not be allowed to dictate who fills the positions in an Australian media pool.

“It can hardly claim it is ‘welcoming the media’ if it dictates who that media will be and bans Australia’s public broadcaster.”

The Republic of Nauru shared a statement on the ban saying, “The Australian media do not decide who enters Nauru.”

Senator Bernardi has told Paul Murray Live on Sky News he thinks the boycott is counter-productive and he supports the News Corp decision to attend.

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