31 Mar 2014

Journalism educator says Fiji media authority undoing good work

7:49 am on 31 March 2014

A Pacific journalism educator based in New Zealand says the Fiji Media Industry Development Authority is undoing the good work acheived in Fiji in the past.

This week the MIDA announced it would set up a media monitoring unit, to assess whether all media outlets were giving equal weight to each political party leading up to this year's elections.

The MIDA Chairman, Ashwin Raj, says the unit will be independent, but the Director of AUT's Pacific Media Centre, Professor David Robie, says he is very sceptical.

He says the authority is going the wrong way about encouraging a free media in Fiji, and is shooting itself in the foot.

"I think really they're sending the wrong signals. What media is doing is saying, you know, everything is changed, and we're now having a much freer media environment. That's the best way, instead of trying to beat various media organisations with a big stick when it doesn't like something that's being reported. Forget all of that sort of petty sort of stuff and get on with encouraging free and open debate."

Professor David Robie.