Analysis

Let’s Get It Right, Davis

Australian blogger and onetime Qorvis public relations worker in Fiji Graham Davis has made a series of attacks on institutions and people in Fiji. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama calls him
21 Oct 2020 09:02
Let’s Get It Right, Davis
Graham Davis.

Australian blogger and onetime Qorvis public relations worker in Fiji Graham Davis has made a series of attacks on institutions and people in Fiji. Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama calls him a gossip prone to drama.

Those in the know say that Davis is a bitter man sitting alone and unnoticed in Sydney after his life on the expatriate gravy train here ended.

Many choose to ignore him.

But Davis has lately taken to making wild claims against the Fiji Sun and Fijian media industry in general. They are not true.

Fact-checking just five of this many claims revealed the following.

WRONG 1

Davis: Fiji Sun takes money from the Chinese Communist Party for the placement of stories and trains its journalists in China.

FACT: A lie and Davis knows it. The Fiji Sun has a well publicised news exchange agreement with Xinhua, the world’s largest news agency. There is no money exchanged.

Xinhua is a reputable professional media organisation with journalists and subscribers around the world. It has especially strong coverage of the developing world, an area often neglected by major Western news agencies. It is the only international news organisation to maintain a bureau in Suva, for example, with a highly qualified bureau chief.

The Fiji Sun also has a similar news exchange arrangement with ANI, an Indian news agency that is especially strong on coverage of Asia. It is part of our efforts to ensure more diverse international news rather than just that presented by American and Australian news organisations.

Our journalists have trained in China as well as other countries, especially India. Our journalists have also gone to Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom under similar training arrangements.

But China has some of the most sophisticated training institutions with the latest in technology. This is especially underscored in areas like new technologies and even in drone journalism courses.

Davis is anti-Chinese. This is perhaps a current trait amongst some Australians.

WRONG 2

Davis: The Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum controls the Fiji Sun.

FACT: The Fiji Sun has independent local shareholders and an independent board of directors who govern the overall operation of the newspaper. The board is chaired by Ratu Ilaitia Tuisese, a widely respected personality in the business community and sports fraternity. It also includes longtime businessman and highly experienced business executive Ashok Desai and our Publisher/CEO Peter Lomas, who is the most experienced newspaper publisher in the Pacific Islands.

Incidentally, Davis, not the Attorney-General, is the one who made bullying phone calls to the Fiji Sun. This even included trying to get us not to publicise prominent Suva lawyer Richard Naidu, whom Davis appears to dislike.

WRONG 3

Davis: Government buys the Fiji Sun’s loyalty with exclusive Government advertising

FACT: Tenders were called under normal commercial practices and media organisations submitted their applications. The Fiji Sun has always met an important tender criteria. This is being flexible with its deadlines to accommodate important late Government advertisements. The Fiji Times would not do the same. It is pertinent to note that the Fiji Times did not submit a tender for three years despite calls for tenders being publicly advertised and open and then decided by the tenders board.

WRONG 4

Davis: Under the Media Industry Development Authority Act, Fijian journalists face a fine of up to $10,000 or a two-year imprisonment term for breaches.

FACT: That provision has been repealed by Parliament. The Fiji Sun had openly campaigned against this provision, the Government heeded this and the Opposition parties acknowledged it.

WRONG 5

Davis attacks the standard of Fijian journalists and journalism.

FACT: Davis may have travelled the world capitals widely flying Business class. But he is not widely experienced in the Pacific Islands. Fiji has the best and most diverse news media in the independent Pacific Islands despite the challenges it has faced. This includes losing a generation of top journalists because of the pressure on them after the Rabuka coups and more again after the Speight coup.

They went on to good jobs overseas including winning awards. It underscores how good Fijian journalists are.

The Fiji Sun is proud of its own modern day journalists and journalism. It has more graduates than any other Fijian newsroom, more journalists with international exposure than any other Fijian newsroom and more women in positions of leadership than any other Fijian news organisation. And that’s a fact. Even though Davis would never admit it.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



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