Journalists put under spotlight

Local journalists interview the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

UNETHICAL journalism has become obvious as the nation prepares for the general elections, says National Federation Party vice president Parmod Chand. During his campaign meeting in the Wailevu area on Thursday night, Mr Chand described certain media coverage as pathetic.

He told supporters that reports in the media revealed personal agendas of certain journalists.

“There are certain media organisations that just write one-sided stories and take sides and this is pathetic journalism,” he said.

“Journalists should be fair and credible because they influence voters, but some journalists are just pathetic.

“Some reports are one-sided and praise the Government all the time and these are the kinds of work that goes down to the gutter.”

Mr Chand called on journalists to be credible people and do their work well.

He said their roles were important to educate voters and produce fair reporting.

Fijian Media Association general secretary Stanley Simpson said the media had done a good job in covering the elections.

He said this good job helped people make informed choices.

“Of course, things can always be done better and coverage can always be improved, but generally the Fiji media has worked hard to cover all parties and given them a platform to air their views, discuss their policies, respond to their opponents and give their perspectives,” he said.

“People are free to give their opinion on the quality and balance on the reporting given by a media organisation and journalists, and make their own minds on the media coverage. “There are a variety of quality sources of news in Fiji to choose from and we urge the public to weigh all the news and coverage carefully.

“The people are free to compare and contrast the reporting and coverage by different media organisations and compare and contrast the views and statements by political parties and candidates.”

Mr Simpson said this was an essential part of a democratic process.

“We also urge the political parties and candidates to come prepared for the debates and interviews as the onus is on them to give the strong answers to the questions they are given.”

The country heads to the polls on November 14.