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Fiji Sun

Letters

Edge on Davis

January 10
08:17 2013

Marc Edge
Vancouver, Canada

Your opinion article by Graham Davis “Ghai: Ruled emotion before reason” (January 8) carried the notation that the author is “an independent Fijian journalist and part-time consultant for Qorvis Communications”.
This statement is contradictory, fallacious and deceitful.  Qorvis Communications is a public relations advisor to the Fiji government, for which Davis writes pro-government articles.
Do you expect us to believe that he is an “independent journalist” the rest of the time?
Davis himself admitted on his blog Grubsheet (27 December) that he has “a clear conflict of interest when it comes to commenting on political matters in Fiji” which naturally leaves him “vulnerable to charges of being a polemicist or propagandist rather than an independent commentator”.
By publishing opinion articles by Mr Davis on political issues you leave the Fiji Sun open, by extension, to charges of polemicism or propaganda. By claiming that he is an “independent journalist” when Mr Davis himself has admitted he is not leaves you open to charges of deception.

 # Fiji Sun columnist Graham Davis, of Suva, responds:

This is evidently yet another manifestation of the intense grudge Marc Edge harbours against me for my perceived role in his demise as Head of Journalism at USP.
I have been totally transparent in publicly declaring my respective professional roles and allowing readers to form their own conclusions about the opinions I express. I am an independent journalist because I have no single employer.
I freelance. I host a weekly television programme in Australia and since last September, have been working part-time in Fiji for the US company Qorvis, which has the Government communications contract.
This is not “contradictory, fallacious and deceitful”, as Dr Edge alleges. I have been utterly transparent with my readers.
There is no overlap between my professional roles in Australia and in Fiji and therefore no conflict of interest in that area whatsoever.
Within Fiji, I have freely acknowledged publicly that I now have a potential conflict of interest when it comes to engaging in partisan politics, such as attacking one of the Government’s political opponents. I don’t regard discussing the constitutional process as falling into that category.
My opinion pieces – and they are labelled as such – reflect my own views and not the views of Qorvis or the Fijian Government.
I have never once received an instruction from either party to reflect a particular opinion nor have I come under any pressure to do so.
Contrary to Dr Edge’s claim, there is no “deception” on my part or on the part of the Fiji Sun.
My associations are declared and readers are free to embrace my opinions or reject them.

 

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