Fiji TV board a disgrace to media

THE continued interference by Fiji Television’s board and management in the running of its newsroom is disgraceful. Once a proudly independent news company, Fiji TV has been gradually stripped of its best people until it is a mere semblance of what was a fierce advocate for investigative journalism and free speech.

Since December 2006 the company has been under sustained attack, its market share diminished by unprecedented legislation designed, it could be argued, to cripple a successful company and boost a State-owned entity. Its independent news division which dared to ask questions of all those in positions of responsibility has been crippled. Key staff have been dismissed – among them senior journalists Merana Kitione and Anish Chand.

The former was forced out for the mere fact that she was married to a National Federation Party official. The latter was a long-time colleague of the same official. Harangued by government officials, abused at press conferences by senior Cabinet ministers, the Fiji TV team has pushed on, testing the draconian Fiji Media Industry Development Decree to the limit. Obviously the refusal to simply roll over and die has not been received well by those in power.

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