WHILE journalism in Fiji has taken a beating, renowned Pacific Island journalism educator Professor David Robie believes Fiji is still setting high standards in the field.
Speaking to The Fiji Times Mr Robie, the former head of the USP's journalism program, acknowledged Fiji journalism faced some of its toughest times in recent years.
"Journalism has taken a beating in Fiji in recent years. Fiji journalism was once a famous standard and example for the region," Prof Robie said.
"The strongest countries for the media were once PNG and Fiji in particular but we've now got a generation of journalists coming through that have actually not experienced living in a free media environment and that poses a lot of challenges," he said.
However, Prof Robie, director of the Pacific Media Centre at the Auckland University of Technology, remained adamant that the standards of journalism in Fiji were not slipping.
He was responding to comments by the current head of the USP's journalism program, Canadian journalist Marc Edge.
Mr Edge told the two-day Media and Democracy conference at USP, Fijian standards of journalism were not good enough and he was working to raise standards to an international level.
"I don't agree about the international standards comments made by Mr Edge," Mr Robie said.
"The fact is that a lot of really good Fiji journalists have gone out from Fiji and got good jobs all over the world from USP. So, yes, things are difficult at the moment but it's a long-term process."