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MIDA sets rules

Tevita Vuibau
Saturday, March 29, 2014

THE Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) maintains it is willing to engage with the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS), provided PACMAS agrees to MIDA guidelines.

The development comes after the ABC-managed PACMAS was forced to postpone a media training workshop for Fiji journalists scheduled next month following disagreements with ABC.

The disagreements stemmed from comments by veteran ABC correspondent Sean Dorney about media freedom in Fiji.

Following a PINA media summit earlier this month, Dorney was interviewed by Radio Australia journalist Bruce Hill and stated some at the summit felt "the situation for the media in Fiji wasn't as free and open as it should be".

MIDA chairman Ashwin Raj said PACMAS was contradicting itself by coming to train Fiji journalists while at the same time having biased reporters.

"There is no point in PACMAS coming to Fiji to train our journalists and just give them certificates of participation when they cannot hold their journalists to adhere to the same standards of responsible journalism," he said.

Mr Raj said complaints to ABC and requests for a retraction of the comments had only yielded a perfunctory response.

"Now, given the fact that we have not received a retraction but a rather perfunctory attempt to explain why Mr Dorney did what he did, I am suggesting that in order for us to engage with PACMAS, I am asking that PACMAS distance itself from the position assumed by the ABC and on the Sean Dorney issue."

Mr Raj told journalists PACMAS would also need to register its workshop with MIDA and enter into the protocols of MIDA should it still wish to continue.

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