26 Mar 2014

Fiji media body wants ABC retraction

5:18 pm on 26 March 2014

Fiji's Media Industry Development Authority is calling for a public retraction by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and one of its journalists over a report they say brought disrepute to the government.

Until then, the MIDA director Matai Akauola, says it's suspending all collaboration with the ABC and Pacific Media Assistance Scheme or PACMAS.

Mr Akauola says their main concern is over an interview Sean Dorney gave following last month's Pacific Media Summit in Noumea in which he told an ABC presenter there was a feeling that media freedom in Fiji wasn't as open and as it should be.

Mr Akauola says the comments were unsubstantiated.

"Try and have evidence and speak to the very people who live in Fiji in regards to how we deal with the issue of media freedom in the country, you know we've gone past 2006 and the situation has changed, it is 2014 so we're saying it's about time that journalists get their facts straight."

Matai Akauola.

The accusations against Mr Dorney led to a decision by PACMAS, which is funded by the Australian government, to drop a media training project in Fiji.

The ABC says it's satisfied that Mr Dorney's assessment was soundly based and impartial.