Pacific Media Watch

28 April 2020

FIJI: Media industry faces challenges over coronavirus disruption

FBC chief executive Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum ... fake news on social media driving people back towards traditional media. Image: FBC News

By Apenisa Waqairadovu
SUVA (FBC News/Asia Pacific Report/Pacific Media Centre): The covid-19 coronovirus pandemic is increasingly disrupting countless industries across the world with a growing global economic crisis.

However, for the media sector, the virus is ironically creating both opportunities and challenges.

While mainstream media consumption has seen a massive increase since the start of the pandemic, the industry faces critical revenue challenges as advertising and sponsorship dollars disappear almost overnight.

Fijian Broadcasting Corporation chief executive Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says it is a situation that is effecting all media outlets.

LISTEN: FBC News audio clips

“It’s not only the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation, but all other media organizations are also facing very difficult times. Advertising is almost trickle down to nothing in some cases.”

“It’s not only the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation, but all other media organisations are also facing very difficult times. Advertising has almost trickled down to nothing in some cases.”

However, Sayed-Khaiyum says smaller marketing budgets are now pushing media outlets to create new ideas to help cushion the impact.

‘Ways and means’
“We have put together ways and means and ideas of putting a proposal to clients through which we will be able to attract more advertising. The public will go after the brands and the products that have kept on advertising throughout this covid-19 period and they will not pay attention to the once who have not been advertising because they have not been on top of people’s minds.”

Fiji Sun managing editor Rosi Doviverata says her newspaper staff are still coming to terms with a 20 percent salary reduction as the print business has also not been spared.

“In addition to that, the staff is also working on reduced hours but with these measures we’ve tried to keep everyone working. They are holding back in terms of their marketing budget and they are tightening up as well. So to know us at the end of the line we are feeling the brunt of it as well.”

Go Advertising director Charles Wakeham says his agency is trying to be more understanding with clients.

“We just work with them and we welcome any cancellation that comes in and we just want to assure them be positive when this pandemic is over will start again.”

Meanwhile FBC chief executive Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says that with an increase in fake news on social media, more people are moving towards traditional media and this will eventually bring back the advertisers.

Apenisa Waqairadovu is a multimedia news journalist with FBC News.

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