Pacific Media Watch

10 September 2014

FIJI: Media association protests over death threats against reporters

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The death threats report in today's Fiji Sun.

SUVA (Fijian Media Association/Pacific Media Watch): The Fijian Media Association has strongly condemned the reported threats being made against Fiji Sun journalist Jyoti Pratibha and Fiji Broadcasting Corporation's Vosita Kotoiwasawasa and is calling on all the leaders of all political parties to do the same.

The association is also urging political party leaders and candidates to call on their supporters to show restraint and stop these alleged threats immediately.

The Fiji Sun today published a story naming the newspaper's western editor Jyoti Pratibha and FBC's Vosita Kotoiwasawasa as having received death threats over reporting SODELPA leader Ro Teimumu Kepa having pulled out of a live television debate with interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

“We understand that there is unhappiness and anger at some of the reports written by our colleague Jyoti. However those aggrieved can respond strongly and make their feelings known in a proper way without resorting to threats to kill journalists or cause them or their family physical harm,” says FMA president Ricardo Morris.

“We note that no media has been spared criticism over the course of the campaign - with different political parties attacking the media organisations and journalists they don’t like.”

“However we urge the Fiji public to appreciate and understand the immense pressure journalists are working under, in a highly charged political environment. Our journalists are facing pressure, intimidation and threats everyday with various sides pushing their policies and agenda, and the media is an easy scapegoat when things are not going someone’s way.

“We can see that certain media organisations have taken positions on this election, and some may not agree with this - but the Fiji public is blessed to have a variety of news media organisations to choose from, two newspapers, two radio companies, [which] have six stations each in three languages delivering the news, two television stations, and three news websites where they can get their news from everyday.

"The Fijian Media Association has previously spoken out when journalists were denied accreditation to the PIDF meeting and allegedly intimidated, and we are extremely concerned with the way journalists such as Jyoti are now being threatened.”

"Journalists have suffered and faced difficult times through various political junctures of Fiji’s history, including the 1987 coup, 2000 coup, 2006 coup and during general elections but have persevered and showed courage to provide news, opinion, and perspectives that will help create awareness and allow the people of Fiji to make up their own mind.

“Threats against any journalist, even those you may not agree with, must not be condoned."

Death threats report in today's Fiji Sun

Live TV debate controversy



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