Monday, April 12, 2010

Draft Fiji media decree in profile on 95bFM

LINK to Pacific Scoop to hear Café Pacific's David Robie, director of the Pacific Media Centre, talking about the controversial Media Industry Development Decree being ushered in by the military-backed regime. 95bFM’s Will Pollard interviews Dr Robie on the implications for the future in Fiji - and also around the Pacific region.

Coup 4.5 reports on what it says are casualties of the decree climate:
Two senior journalists at Fiji TV have been moved to lesser roles under claims they were biased against the Frank Bainimarama government.

It is believed Merana Kitione and Anish Chand were sidelined because of their links to the National Federation Party. Kitione, Fiji TV's manager news current affairs and sport, is married to former
Fiji Times journalist and administrative officer for the National Federation Party, Kamal Iyer.

She is now acting training and development manager.
Another senior journalist, and close colleague, has been moved with her - desk editor and team leader news, Anish Chand, who is now in production.

Chand has friends in the National Federation Party.
Kitione's old job has been filled by Tukaha Mua, who used to manage the programmes and distribution section, while Chand's position has been filled by Emily Moli.
The Australian's Asia-Pacific editor Rowan Callick has filed a comprehensive article about the decree and the implications for the The Fiji Times, a subsidiary of the News Ltd media stable.

1 comment:

Liu Muri said...

Well done, David for your very enlightening and informative interview on 95bFM. I will recommend all those interested in getting a fresh and refreshing view from the veteran media expert on Pacific, then listen to David Robie's piece. The pity is that other Kiwi academics and the mainstream media in NZ and Australia fail to project such a realistic view on Fiji media and its political situation.
I note that as reported by David Robie, Mere Samisoni and other SDL supporters at the blogsite Coup 4.5 are crying at the sidelining of Mere Kitione and Anish Chandra from the news desk of Fiji TV.
Hold your breath, the question is NOT why they were removed, but the question is, WHY IT TOOK SO LONG TO DO SO. Had such a conflict of interest issue been present in the newsroom of any other progressive modern democracy, including NZ, Australia, Britain or USA, Kitione and Anish may even have been fired for compromising the independence of the newsroom through their relations with a politically tainted person and a political commentator Kamal Iyer, whose political leaning is very clear through his vindictive writings on Mahendra Chaudhry, the military and other politicians. Fiji media has hardly been free, and this shows the extent of "manufacturing of news" either on bed with the wife or around grog bowl with FIJI TV mates (including Anish Chandra) at National Federation Party Office and home of Kamal Iyer and Mere Kitione. What adds colour to all this is that the award-winning journalist at Fiji Times, and its Editor during the Speight’s coup, Netani Rika, is a former colleague of Kitione and Anish, and a friend of Kamal Iyer. Fiji is such a small place. In case you did not know, former PM Laisenia Qarase was the mentor of former head/ CEO of Fiji TV, Mesake Nawari. Until SDL was in power, they did not allow Tarun Patel, a qualified and deserving person to become CEO of Fiji TV. This happened only when the ethno-nationalist Qarase was removed by Bainimarama.
So, you got to be joking if you say Fiji media has been free.

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