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Media training in limbo

Dawn Gibson
Sunday, March 23, 2014

A MEDIA training program which was scheduled to be held in Fiji next month has been postponed.

The training was the second phase of the PACMAS Digital Media Training Project, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA), Sally-Ann Wilson told The Fiji Times yesterday.

Ms Wilson said PACMAS was not able to operate projects in Fiji because: "The Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) of Fiji recently wrote to the managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) lodging a complaint about the conduct of one of its staff members during a recent conference in Noumea.

"As a consequence of the allegations made by MIDA and the authority they carry in Fiji, its chairman Ashwin Raj and CEO Matai Akauola have suspended all collaboration with the ABC and PACMAS at this time and therefore we had no option but to postpone the forthcoming workshop."

Ms Wilson said the decision by MIDA was one the CBA was saddened by.

"We had received many excellent applications and it saddens all the team greatly that we have had no option but to postpone the event due to the suspension of any work associated with PACMAS by MIDA.

"We had selected Fiji for the next phase of this project as we believed that we would have strong support for this training from partners there such as the broadcasters and universities."

MIDA chief exectuive Matai Akauola told this newspaper: "We (MIDA) can confirm that we are awaiting a formal response from ABC on issues raised with them last month. We will only get back to you once we receive ABC's formal response".

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