12 Oct 2010

Former Fiji Times editor hopes for editorial freedom

2:03 pm on 12 October 2010

The former editor of the Fiji Times, Netani Rika, says he hopes the new publisher will be able to leave editorial staff to make the decisions over news coverage.

Mr Rika resigned as the Editor of the Fiji Times last week after a Media Decree forced Australia's News Limited to sell the paper to local group, Motibhai.

He says he understands the paper is interested in attracting more government advertising after the interim regime decided to halt any commercial support for the Times last year.

"How much that influences decisions will determine what happens to the paper and whether there is any interference with editorial decision- making will also determine what happens. If the owners are able to stay out of newsroom affairs and let the people who know best run that portion of the business, then the paper should be able to continue to succeed."

Mr Rika says looking back he would make the same decisions again about refusing to publish stories that had been amended by the government censors.