18 Dec 2014

Fiji TV alarms media watchdog

8:04 am on 18 December 2014

The departure of two leading executives from Fiji TV is raising concerns at the Pacific Freedom Forum, a regional media watchdog, about more interference in Fiji's media.

The chair at the PFF, Titi Gabi, says Fiji TV is controlled by a public company and the reasons for their departure should be properly made public.

She says it is curious that the chief executive officer Tevita Gonelevu was only hired a little over a year ago, and has gone already.

No reasons were given for his departure, or that of Head of Content Tanya Waqanika. Their departure triggered the resignation of the deputy chairman of the Fiji TV board.

Fiji TV board member Nouzab Fareed confirmed the two departures, describing them as a standard approach in restructuring a company.

Some media however reported the pair lost their jobs because of controversy over the loss of exclusive rights to world rugby broadcasts, with supporters claiming there was nothing they could do after a law change earlier this year.

PFF's co-chair Monica Miller says the departure raises "further concerns" about continued impact on the integrity of Fiji TV.

She says the PFF is calling on Fiji TV to put impacts from the restructuring to an independent review, including delivery of news and information over the airwaves that are a public asset.