Broadcaster corrects Pitt comments

Monday July 24, 2017 Published in Letters to the Editor

I write to you because I think it only proper to correct a number of unqualified representations George Pitt made in CI Herald on July 19 and on his radio station on July 21 about me and our humble radio station Matariki FM.


He used to feature in a programme on our station, but no longer does so.

Firstly, Pitt’s statement in CI Herald that “(James) Beer accelerated a Matariki FM programme which incidentally sponsors Beer’s company, in an attempt to politically massage an exit plan,” is untrue.

Matariki FM does not sponsor any of Beer’s companies. Nor does it sponsor any political party or person.

Secondly, on Radio Cook Islands, George said I was going to be the media representative for the opposition office.

He said: “I understand our friend William Framhein will be the media officer”, and also posed a question: “What (good is it), speaking on Matariki FM. You’re speaking to a handful of people. You come to Radio Cook Islands, you speak to the whole nation”.

In regards to these two points I think Pitt is being mischievous. So let me correct him and inform our people of the truth. Firstly, Pitt seems to know more about me than I do in respect of the media officer position in the opposition office. I swear that at no time has the leader of the opposition or any members of the opposition spoken to me about becoming the media officer in the opposition office.

However, I believe George is desperate to fill this role and I guess that’s why he’s bashing the Democratic Party. Regarding the audience reach of local radio stations, let me provide some perspective on this. Yes, Radio Cook Islands reaches all the outer islands which have a population of 4,415. Rarotonga has a population of around 13,044 which represents 75 per cent (Census 2016) of the total population.

The AM transmission facility which reaches the outer islands was provided by government as part of their social responsibility, which I think should be tendered.

As an aside, I also think the broadcast of parliament should be tendered. But back to the audience demographics and I submit this question: Who has the largest audience? Short of carrying out another local media survey, which Matariki FM last did in 2008, I can state that Matariki FM has a good following both locally and globally. Matariki FM sits in the top 10 radio stations in the world of small island states and at tunein.

Matariki FM lists 7.1K followers, Radio Cook Islands lists 5.4K followers and 88FM just 177 followers.

I rest my case – and I believe Pitt should shut his mouth!

            William Framhein

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