World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Fiji: Defamation During Elections, Journos Warned

Beware Of Defamation During Elections, Journos Warned

By Sakiasi Nawaikama and Erica Lee

SUVA (Wansolwara Online/Pacific Media Watch): A prominent lawyer and former journalist has advised the media to have its ‘defamation antennas up’ during Fiji’s general elections in May.

Speaking at a three-day Fiji media and election workshop at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Richard Naidu said the media became susceptible to attacks from politicians during elections.

Fiji goes to the polls for the week-long general election - the second since the attempted 2000 coup - on May 6-13.

Naidu told local and regional journalists that while politicians may be more accessible to journalists during an election year, they were always in a "fearsome attack mode" during this period.

"The media is attacked for bias and not fairly reporting one party against another party. You must restrain yourself from the desire to retaliate in a way that is not objective or fair," Naidu said.

He reminded journalists that Fiji’s defamation law favoured the plaintiff. He also pointed out that a candidate in an election had no greater rights than anybody else.

Journalists could use "truth and justification" as defences against defamation but would still have to prove by balance of probabilities that everything on the document or what was said was true.

The workshop, which ended yesterday, was hosted by the Democracy and the Electoral Studies Programme in collaboration with the Fiji Electoral Commission/Elections Office.

There were 20 registered participants from Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Tonga. The majority of the participants were from Fiji news organisations.



© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Ramzy Baroud: Year in Review Will 2018 Usher in a New Palestinian Strategy

2017 will be remembered as the year that the so-called ‘peace process’, at least in its American formulation, has ended. And with its demise, a political framework that has served as the foundation for US foreign policy in the Middle East has also collapsed. More>>


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>


Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike.

Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures.

Once upon a time, the Soviet Union was the nightmare threat for the entire Cold War era – and since then the US has cast the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State in the same demonic role. Iran is now the latest example…More

Catalan Independence:
Pro-independence parties appear to have a narrow majority. More>>