NATION

Media Plays Vital Role

The Pacific Sexual and Gen­der Diversity Network (PSGDN) and the Fijian Media Association (FMA) have committed to work together to advance the human rights of LG­BTQI Fijians.
03 Jul 2022 16:00
Media Plays Vital Role
Fijian Media Association president and Fiji Sun Acting Publisher/CEO Rosi Doviverata (sitting, second from left), Fiji Sun subeditors Jeremiah Ligairi (standing, second from left), Fiji Sun managing editor - Design Naisa Koroi (standing, fifth from left) with other collegues from the media and workshop facilitators at the workshop on June 29, 2022. Photo: Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network

The Pacific Sexual and Gen­der Diversity Network (PSGDN) and the Fijian Media Association (FMA) have committed to work together to advance the human rights of LG­BTQI Fijians.

PSGDN, in partnership with FMA, concluded a two-day train­ing on Sexual Orientation, Gen­der Identity, Expression and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) and LGBTQI rights for some Fijian journalists from different media organisations on Wednesday.

The objectives of the training were to increase media’s knowl­edge and understanding of LG­BTQI human rights and SOGIESC terminologies, laws and policies in relation to LGBTQI rights, in­cluding the challenges and lived experiences of Fijian LGBTQI people and to build capacity in the area of reporting of LGBTQI issues.

The workshop included partici­pants from five different media organisations working in print, online and broadcast media and local journalism educators.

Fiji Sun subeditor Jeremiah Ligairi (sixth from left), Fiji Sun journalist Josefa Babitu (far right) with participants at the workshop on June 28, 2022. Photo: Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network.

Fiji Sun subeditor Jeremiah Ligairi (sixth from left), Fiji Sun journalist Josefa Babitu (far right) with participants at the workshop on June 28, 2022. Photo: Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, PSGDN Chief Execu­tive Officer Isikeli Vulavou high­lighted the importance of report­ing on LGBTQI issues in a fair, accurate and inclusive manner and the role of the media in pro­tecting and promoting the human rights of LGBTQI Fijians.

“Fiji has various laws and poli­cies such as the 2013 Constitu­tion, the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission Act and the Media Act that provide frameworks for equality and non-discrimination,” Vulavou said.

“With these laws in place, it is important that stories and arti­cles featuring LGBTQI issues use a human rights-based approach and do not cause further harm and discrimination to marginalised and vulnerable communities,” the CEO reiterated.

Adding similar sentiments, FMA President Rosi Doviverata high­lighted the importance of media organisations engaging with hu­man rights organisations to in­crease their knowledge on impor­tant social justice issues and the role they play in promoting the empowerment and acceptance of LGBTQI communities.

“Journalists in Fiji face many challenges and work under a lot of pressure. Safe spaces such as these workshops allow our mem­bers to engage meaningfully and learn from people working on the frontline of LGBTQI issues,” Ms Tamani-Doviverata said.

She said despite the challenges, media organisations can become strong allies and help influ­ence change in the communities through their stories.

An outcome of the training was the development of a basic report­ing checklist for LGBTQI issues and a commitment from some me­dia organisations for trainings on LGBTQI rights on a regular basis.

The training was a pilot pro­gram for Fiji, and PSGDN hopes to roll out similar workshops for its members and media organisa­tions in other parts of the region soon.

Feedbacks: josefa.babitu@fijisun.com.fj



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