Free media is the cornerstone

Fiji Times Sikeli Qounadovu, Fiji Televisions Dreu Vukilagi and Stanley Simpson during the Editor's Forum at the Fiji Times conference room today. Picture: JONA KONATACI

A FREE and responsible media was the cornerstone of a democratic society and it was the duty of all citizens to ensure its existence.

Media Watch Group (MWG) acting executive director Laitia Tamata said this in a statement issued today as part of World Press Freedom Day which is celebrated today.

Mr Tamata said MWG conducted a BRIDGE workshop last month on media training for Civil Society Organizations in preparation for the 2018 General Elections.

He said participants were provided with insights of the work of print organizations and how they conduct self-censorship in order to avoid breaching the Fiji Media Industry Development Decree 2010 at the workshop.

Mr Tamata further said “freedom of the media is a public good, and private individuals and corporations profit from it on the understanding that their gain secures their independence”.

“Hence we call on Government to consider reviewing the Act.”

World Press Freedom Day may be celebrated meaningfully, if media organisations are fully independent of Government influence.

MWG also presented its submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights today and took part in the Editors Forum at the at the Fiji Times Limited office.

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