Pacific Media Watch

23 July 2018

FIJI: Hank Arts to retire as Fiji Times publisher with nation's 'best team'

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Fiji Times Ltd general manager and publisher Hank Arts ... “The Fiji Times editorial independence remains unquestionable.” Picture: Atu Rasea/FT

By Aqela Susu
SUVA (The Fiji Times/Pacific Media Watch): Fiji Times Ltd general manager and publisher Hank Arts, who headed the company during the long-running Nai Lalakai sedition trial,  will retire at the end of this month.

Arts, who turns 70 next month, said that after seven years with the Fiji Times Ltd group, it was time to move on. However, he would remain with the group as a consultant until his replacement is recruited, and to complete a number of identified projects.

Arts said it was a good time to bring a younger successor into the commercial leadership of the Fiji Times Ltd group.

The Fiji Times continues to flourish and its editorial independence remains unquestionable,” Arts said.

“We have the best team of journalists in Fiji and it shows in the strength of our papers. We operate under the ordinary pressures of the news business but many other pressures as well, as everyone in Fiji knows. All of our terrific staff take this in their stride and every day they give us their best work.”

Arts said he was proud of the way that the Fiji Times Ltd had modernised its operations during his term as general manager.

“The business is on a solid footing with the installation of a modern press, information technology systems and graphics. The latest development of the Fiji Times digital platform has ensured that we remain a modern voice in the news business.”

Unconditional support
Arts said the shareholders and directors of the Fiji Times Ltd had given him and editor-in-chief Fred Wesley unconditional support during his time as publisher, particularly during the challenges of the recent Nai Lalakai sedition trial when the group and its editors were found not guilty on all charges.

“I could not have expected anything more, the support was 100 percent,” he said.

Fiji Times Ltd director Rajesh Patel thanked Arts for his work for the group.

“This has never been an easy job and Hank knew this when he agreed to work with us. He has performed in his role as publisher with great courage, especially during the long criminal trial he faced in the past two years, and he will not be easy to replace,” Patel said.

Wesley said he was glad that Arts would be remaining with the company for a while longer to help in the transition to a new commercial leadership.

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