Pacific Media Watch

15 September 2012

FIJI: Republika promises to bring back media credibility

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Republika editor Ricardo Morris during the official launch of the magazine at the Fiji Club in Suva yesterday. Image: Jone Luvenitoga/Fiji Times

Tevita Vuibau

SUVA (The Fiji Times / Pacific Media Watch): The newest magazine to hit Fiji's shelves, Republika, promises to bring credibility back to the media in Fiji.

And publisher and editor Ricardo Morris has also promised to fulfil a duty to inform the public, a duty he says that has been neglected by media outlets.

Speaking at yesterday's official launch, Morris, who has more than 12 years experience in the media, did not pull any punches when describing the current shortcomings of Fiji's print media.

"The mainstream print media, in particular, with relatively vast resources at their disposal, have failed to consistently and properly carry out its public service duty," Morris said.

"They have failed to maintain integrity, balance and accuracy. Failed to tell people what they need to know, as opposed to the fluff the media thinks they ought to know. Infotainment has overcome news analysis."

Morris said media outlets had blatantly taken sides in news reporting and this had seen the profession of journalism suffer.

"As journalists, we have sometimes easily been swayed, letting the baggage of our biases, political leanings, provincialism, racism and sometimes our open support for political parties and actors to get in the way of good, honest journalism," he said.

Morris said there was a need to regain the vibrancy, excitement and passion to do honour to the hallmarks of former great Fiji journalists like Robert Keith-Reid.

"Republika will bring back investigative journalism, ask the hard questions without fear or favour, on issues of current affairs, corruption or politics," Morris said, adding he would print 1000 to 1500 copies monthly.

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