Dr Singh on training of journalists

Media personnal and invited guests during the Media Industry Development Act public consultation at the Suvavou House in Suva on Thursday, March 23, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

There is need for more focus on investment in the training and development of journalists in Fiji says, University of the South Pacific Associate Professor Dr Shailendra Singh.

He highlighted this while speaking on the draft Media Ownership and Registration Bill 2023.

“We are working on a detailed response to the draft media,” he said.

“But just one more thing I wanted to emphasize was the previous Media Act was titled Media Industry Development Act, but all the focus was on regulation and I think there was no attention at all paid to development.

“I believe I may be mistaken, I looked at the annual report of the MIDA (Media Industry Development Authority) and I think there was zero local investment in training and development.

“So while we were quick to nationalise ownership, we were not as quick to take any kind of ownership or responsibility for training and development.”

Dr Shailendra added he hoped the new media legislation considered and made contributions to training and development.

“And I hope the new media legislation considers this and we make some of our own contribution to training and development so we can also set the agenda ourselves.

“I think it’s 100 per cent foreign training and development, and they provide invaluable assistance to our media sector, but they have their own agenda and their own priorities.

“And I think we should take at least some ownership of training and development because that also contributes to media freedom, journalists, training, development and welfare is often neglected.

“When you talk about media quality and media freedom, and we should pay attention to that as well.”

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