Pacific Media Watch

7 September 2012

FIJI: Journalists urged to take advantage of lifting of censorship

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Permanent Information Secretary Sharon Smith-Johns calls on Fiji journalists to "rise to the challenge". Image:

Dhanjay Deo

SUVA ( / Pacific Media Watch): Fiji Permanent Secretary for Information Sharon Smith-Johns has urged journalists to take advantage of the lifting of censorship.

Speaking at the conference on Media and Democracy at the University of the South Pacific, Smith-Johns said the government was looking at journalists to again rise to the challenge of giving ordinary people information they needed.

She added that one would hear a lot about censorship and journalists in Fiji were too afraid to report fully and without fear and favour.

Smith-Johns urged journalists not to use this as an excuse in not doing their jobs.

She said the government wanted a vigorous media but with certain conditions that were a prerequisite in most countries.

According to Smith-Johns, these conditions were not to fuel racial division, not to threaten peace and order, and not to damage the economy and people’s jobs.

Meanwhile, according to lawyer Richard Naidu, during censorship when the public deed not trust the media to come out with the information, they resorted to other sources of information such as blog sites.

He further added that during censorship, those in authority would not know what people were thinking about them.

Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators. (cc) Creative Commons