Editorial comment – Our commitment

(L-R- front) Nai Lalakai editor Anare Ravula, Fiji Times Director Rajesh Patel, Editor-in-Chief Fred Wesley, Publisher Hank Arts and letter writer Josaia Waqabaca joined by The Fiji Times staff and supporters outside the Suva High Court. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA/FILE

By this date back in 2014 we were going into pre-polling as the countdown to the general elections continued.

The big day was September 17 then.

Some voters believed at the time that pre-polling was a practice-run, some believed they could still vote on September 17 if they missed their dates and some claimed they were not aware of the dates they were supposed to vote on.

It was encouraging to see people actually making their way to cast their votes in many parts of the country in the opening two days.

We reported on the transition from the old format of voting to the new system in 2014.

Over the years leading up to 2014 and in its aftermath, we have been part of the dissemination of news we hope was relevant and allowed people to make well informed decisions.

As we once again head into an important election this year, we know the dissemination of information is critically important for the masses.

Today is a very special day for The Fiji Times. We celebrate another milestone, and once again have an opportunity to remind ourselves about the important role we play in the mechanics of life in our beautiful nation. We turn 149 years old today.

Who would have thought that a newspaper started by George Littleton Griffiths in Levuka on this day in 1869 would grow into what we are today.

Settlers at the time were still taking little steps on the path to nationhood.

A former editor of the newspaper, the late Sir Len Usher, on October 15, 1962, described those early days, sharing a glimpse of the life of the people of Levuka.

The Cyclopaedia of Fiji which he referred to, stated, “In 1869, when Mr Griffiths landed in Levuka, there was no form of government whatever … considering the freedom from restraint which the settlers enjoyed, every man doing as he thought right in his own eyes, the community was an exceedingly orderly one, and comparatively few disturbances occurred. For the first two years… the press played an important part in the preservation of order.”

The Fiji Times journey started at a time when Fiji was slowly struggling to realise its potential.

Change was inevitable.

Over the years, The Fiji Times has witnessed many changes, from positive developments to a time of independence, and on to the first of a number of military coups.

Today we accept that we are the voice for the many people who trust The Fiji Times brand.

We realise the work we do isn’t one for the faint-hearted.

But it needs to be done. If not for the information that people need to make well informed decisions daily, then it is to hold power to account.

We are not anti-government, and neither are we pro-government.

We will continue to strive for fair, balanced and credible news with emphasis on integrity. Today, we also have an opportunity to thank you our loyal reader for your continued support.

You are the reason we are committed to do what we do.

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