Pacific Media Watch

28 March 2014

NZ: Journalism educator says Fiji MIDA demands are 'mind-boggling'

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PMC's Dr David Robie at the business media summit in Sydney this week ... critical of the MIDA approach in Fiji. Image: John Wallace/APJC

AUCKLAND (Radio NZ International / Pacific Media Watch): A Pacific journalism educator says the Fiji Media Industry Development Authority is putting mind-boggling demands on the media.

A row between the authority and the ABC flared at the recent Pacific Media Summit in New Caledonia over a veteran ABC reporter Sean Dorney's comments on the state of media freedom in Fiji.

The director of AUT University's Pacific Media Centre, Professor David Robie, who was at a business media summit in Sydney this week, says Dorney's comments are widely shared in the Pacific.

He says it's laughable that the MIDA is asking for a retraction from the ABC.

He says the MIDA chairman, Ashwin Raj, has called for wider discussion about politics, but it seems his organisation has set itself up as a censor.

"This is the time now to get as much open media and debate as possible leading up to the elections later this year and here we have MIDA trying to sort of set some sort of limits and effectively a gag on both the ABC and Sean Dorney. It's quite mind-boggling that they're actually trying to do this, and it's a very unprofessional approach."

- Professor David Robie

MIDA pursues complaint against Australian journalist

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Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

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