FIJI NEWS

Media Authority will monitor media outlets

By JYOTI PRATIBHA The Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) has welcomed the removal of the Public Emergency Regulations (PER), but at the same time, has cautioned journalists to exercise responsibility.
05 Jan 2012 08:25

By JYOTI PRATIBHA

The Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) has welcomed the removal of the Public Emergency Regulations (PER), but at the same time, has cautioned journalists to exercise responsibility.
Authority deputy chairman Matai Akauola yesterday said with the removal of censors from newsrooms, MIDA will be the body monitoring news items in print, broadcast and television media.
Mr Akauola said journalists needed to let go of their pre-conceived notions when doing news articles.
“We should be glad that censors are being removed but in saying that, we are not out of the woods yet. It is just that according to the goodwill of the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama  the PER has been removed.
“In removing the PER, the democratic process hasn’t kicked in yet. This is to allow for consultations in regards to having the new Constitution. The democratic process will only be up and running when we have general elections in 2014. From now until then, whilst the PM has announced the removal of PER, for the media, it is a matter of adhering to the code of ethics,” he said.
With the lifting of the PER scheduled to take place from this Saturday, the Authority’s work as the monitoring agency also starts at the same time.
“The censors will be taken out of the newsroom so that journalists can freely do their work. Even the Government would want a very responsible media while moving forward. Even at the media authority, we want people to do their work diligently and it is a matter of playing by the rules,” he said.
The Authority came into existence when the Media Decree of 2010 was implemented. They will be the agency looking into complaints against media organisations, amongst other things.
“We will be working closely with the media organisations, talking and we think that is what is needed, the solutions are in the newsrooms.
“We had been meeting with media organisations and they have been asking as to when the PER would be lifted and now that it is being done, we call for responsibility,” Mr Akauola said.
Talks are also taking place to form a Fijian Media Association, to look at the welfare of media personnel and issues that affect them such as the safety of journalists.


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