20 Sep 2010

Fiji Times sale raises editorial issues

12:53 pm on 20 September 2010

A Suva-based journalism academic says the Fiji Times new owners' significant business interests in Fiji raise new questions about its future editorial independence.

Australia-owned News Limited's enforced sale of Fiji's oldest paper to the locally-owned Motibhai Group is due to be finalised this week.

The Head of Journalism at the University of the South Pacific, Shailendra Singh, says there's general relief the newspaper is in good business hands but there is now another dilemma.

"In terms of local ownership people are saying it's a mixed bag because of Motibhai's considerable business interests in Fiji. People are asking how will this affect the Fiji Times editorially? Will the publishers be editorially neutral?"

Shailendra Singh says the Fiji Times is a good acquisition for the Mothibhai Group which now has a powerful advertising vehicle for its large number of diversified companies in Fiji.