6 Jan 2012

New Fiji media association to make newsrooms safe

5:52 pm on 6 January 2012

The deputy chairperson of Fiji's Media Industry Development Authority says a new media association will look at how to make newsrooms safe for staff.

This comes as the public emergency regulations are to be lifted on Saturday.

The regulations, which give the military and police extensive powers, were imposed in 2009 after the appeal court ruled that Commodore Frank Bainimarama's post-2006 coup interim administration was illegal.

Matai Akauola says talks on the formation of a Fiji media association had been held before the announcement that the regulations were to be lifted.

He says reporters must now practice good journalism, something with which the new organisation will assist, along with ensuring their safety.

"There's a fear element within the newsrooms, they cannot speak up to their editors and that's why we've been conducting workshops in terms of public service journalism, you know, who are we serving? Are we serving the editor because he makes the call or are we there for the general public as the fourth estate watchdog for the community?"

Matai Akauola says the new media association will also look at journalists' pay rates.