NEWS

Fiji Sun Questions Raj Ruling, Calls In Lawyers

The Fiji Sun is strongly questioning a ruling against it by Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) chairperson Ashwin Raj Publisher/chief executive officer Peter Lomas said the ruling appears to have
23 Feb 2015 10:43
Fiji Sun Questions Raj Ruling, Calls In Lawyers

The Fiji Sun is strongly questioning a ruling against it by Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) chairperson Ashwin Raj

Publisher/chief executive officer Peter Lomas said the ruling appears to have been made by Mr Raj alone and not a properly constituted MIDA meeting.

The newspaper is strongly supporting its managing editor/news Jyoti Pratibha.

Mr Lomas said Ms Pratibha’s robust reporting is being targeted through a smear campaign and complaints to MIDA by people linked to the Opposition.

The Fiji Sun’s lawyers will be looking at all options in response.

The ruling in question was dated 9 February but was not received by the Fiji Sun from Mr Raj’s office until Friday 20 February.

It has been circulated extensively on anti-Government social media sites, and has been praised by SODELPA.

Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) youth president Pita Waqavonovono had complained about a news report and a Coconut Wireless item.

Mr Raj ruled that it was wrong for the Fiji Sun to say that SODELPA used race and land issues during the general election campaign.

It was also defamatory to suggest in a Coconut Wireless item that Mr Waqavonovono had needed to have a shave and use some deodorant during the vote counting.

Mr Lomas said the Fiji Sun had submitted there was no evidentiary basis for the complaints to be upheld. It will now respond strongly.

He said all in the news media should be concerned about this issue. This ruling effectively threatens any efforts for more robust reporting, commentary and news media analysis, he said.

If allowed to stand it could mean that Fijian journalism can be stifled by the opinion of one man.

We publish on this page the full ruling signed by Mr Raj and sent to the Fiji Sun on Friday before he left on a United Nations-funded overseas media trip.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 




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