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FIJI: Sun journalist wins human rights media award

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By Naziah Ali and Rosa Dalituicama

SUVA (Wansolwara Online/Pacific Media Watch): Fiji Sun features editor John Kamea won the Fiji Human Rights Commission media award for the second consecutive time at the weekend.

His story, entitled "That special kind of hell on earth", was about the plight of Fiji's mentally disabled people. He highlighted the prejudices they faced despite the protection of their rights in both national and international conventions.

The top radio award went to Fiji Broadcasting Corporation¹s Solomoni Lewanavanua for his interview with Reverend Akuila Yabaki on human rights and Fijian culture in the Fijian language.

Women's rights activist Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls won the television category for the Fem' Link video production titled "Balancing the Scales". The programme looked at NGO women's groups and their role in improving the status of women in Fiji society.

The Fiji Sun picked up a second award when reporter Ana Tudrau won the most encouraging category award jointly with Fiji Television's Reggie Dutt. Tudrau¹s story, "Brutality behind bars", dwelt on the abuse of the rights of prisoners by prison wardens while Dutt's story on the Valelawa refugees' raised the issue of landless farmers.

Devika Narayan of The Fiji Times won the runner-up award for print for her article, "The right to water". Narayan and Tudreu are second-year students at the University of the South Pacific Journalism Programme while Dutt is a journalism graduate from USP and former editor of Wansolwara.

Other winners were: James Bhagwan, runner up in the radio category and Imraz Iqbal, runner-up in television.

The Fiji Human Rights Commission (FHRC) holds its media awards to celebrate World Press Freedom Day. The event recognises and supports reporting on human rights issues.

The chief guests this year were the foreign editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, Hamish McDonald, and the executive director of the South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, Ravi Nair.

Also present was the FHRC¹s newly appointed ombudsman and chairperson Walter Rigamoto.



PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media based in Sydney, Journalism Studies at the University of PNG (UPNG), the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ), Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, and Community Communications Online (c2o).

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