Editorial comment – Thank you

The Fiji Times editor Fred Wesley with the News Media Executive of the Year award at the Hilton in Sydney last night. Picture: SUPPLIED

Today we have an opportunity to thank you our reader, our families, friends and supporters for believing in The Fiji Times brand.

To be selected as the Media Executive of the Year at the annual News Media Awards 2018 at the Hilton in Sydney, Australia on Friday night was a moment of personal joy, satisfaction and great pride.

There must be no mistake though that the award comes at the tail end of a process that culminates daily in the publication of a great newspaper.

There are many hands, and brains involved in the process, from the deputy editor, chief-of-staff, to the journalists and photojournalists on the frontline in our head office in Suva, the West and North bureaus, sub-editors, proofreaders and heads of departments, to the staff members of circulation, advertising and marketing, admin and finance, production, our transport department and all sellers of The Fiji Times around the country.

It is a daily function.

Each member plays an important role to ensure you get to read your favourite newspaper every day, and there are also those who ensure our overseas readers are kept updated via our online platforms. Whatever your motivation is to be a part of this 149-year-old brand, we thank you and acknowledge that.

We acknowledge the support, the well wishes that have come our way via the many available platforms, and we are appreciative of the belief in a brand that has been around since September 4, 1869.

I take this opportunity to acknowledge your confidence in our ability to provide news that is relevant to Fiji.

If by some little way we have helped you improve your life, learn something new, brought happiness and joy to you and your family, updated you about trends in fashion, the entertainment industry perhaps, learn something about cooking, sports and an indepth appreciation of business, the economy, developments around the country, understand and appreciate politics, and the many cultures and traditions that make up this wonderful nation of ours, we are happy.

We hope The Fiji Times continues to be a credible source of information for you and your family. We strive for accuracy and will, every time we have to, correct our mistakes.

We embrace the need to have a newspaper that has integrity and is committed to moving Fiji forward. We have been accused of being biased and driven by an agenda, wilfully trying to mislead the public. We have been accused of having a hidden political agenda and being led by politically-motivated bosses.

We will not be deterred and we will not give credibility to these accusations. Everyone has a right to their opinion, and we will endeavour to do good for the people of Fiji.

Our editors have a huge responsibility to be neutral and fair when it comes to politics. We accept that with great power comes a greater sense of responsibility.

We also realise that we cannot please everyone. We have been castigated by some people in positions of power, and our reporters have been intentionally given the cold shoulder. The past two years have been especially challenging for every member of staff and their family and for our loyal readers.

We are not a newspaper hell bent on hurting a government. We are not anti-government nor are we pro-government. We will strive to provide our readers with the opportunity to voice their opinions on issues that affect them. We hope to be a vehicle for readers to offer solutions to issues that affect our nation.

If by doing this, we can positively unite to develop our nation, then that is the reward we appreciate.

That gives us personal satisfaction.

We hope to be your major source of information about what is happening in Fiji, the region and around the world.

Thank you for believing in The Fiji Times.

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