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"Journalists Acting Like Political Activists"

Journalists Acting Like Political Activists - Adi Finau

Adi Finau Tabakaucoro, member of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji believes that certain journalists have a narrow agenda and are using the media for their own personal and political interests.

She asserts that these journalists are acting like political activists, propagating a political interest at the expense of fair, constructive and balance analysis, and reporting.

"They are hell bent on derailing the work on the People's Charter for Change, Peace and Progress, and the Interim Government (IG). Their political leanings are clearly visible in their work," Adi Finau said.

She added that for instance, Mr Maika Bolatiki as political editor of Fiji Sun should be publishing well researched and constructive political articles, allowing for competing viewpoints to be debated widely and people are educated to make informed decision.

"His political piece titled "New GCC in breach of EU vow" published in the Fiji Sun on May 13, 2008 was a direct attack on the principles of the People's Charter and the GCC membership review exercise,"

"The article gave glaring prominence to a particular view point without any constructive analysis or fairness and balance, no opportunity was given for any other view, let alone an opposing comment," she said.

Adi Finau said that Mr Bolatiki gave a Mr Isikeli Kini, purported to be the Lomaiviti province spokesperson on political matters, every opportunity to attack any opposing view on the Lomaiviti Provincial Council position on the Peoples Charter and why the Provincial Council cannot and should not support an illegal government.

"This is a civilian interim government with every branch of the machinery of government operating normally - the public service, the judiciary, the security forces, agriculture and industry, health, education, airports, revenue collections etc. In any case, the issue of illegality is before the Courts of Fiji" she added.

Whilst Mr Bolatiki and the Fiji Sun are free to publish what they deem fit, Adi Finau said, careful research and a more constructive effort would have given their readers more information on the Lomaiviti Provincial Council meeting including the following:

- The convening of the Provincial Council meetings, including the Lomaiviti Provincial Council is an act of compliance with the law and attendance by councilors can be interpreted as an act of allegiance and faith including support for the IG;

- Provincial Councils are statutory bodies of government and derive their functions and mandate from the IG. Dissenting members of the Councils should resign their appointments as provincial councilors;

- The principles of the People's Charter have been endorsed by many of those in opposition including people who are active members of the Methodist Church and SDL Party. This also includes Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi as evident from his speech in New Zealand recently;

- Villages in the Lomaiviti Province have been visited by the Charter teams in the awareness phase and their submissions are being heard and collected;

- The resolution of the Lomaiviti Provincial Council to deny the people of their right to information and participation is against the spirit and provisions of the Constitution;

- The Takalaigau, Ratu Marika Lewanavanua was courageous enough to express his right to have a dissenting view, which most of his other colleagues share;

- The re-election of the chairman Ratu Jolame Lewanavanua who is (until his official resignation is received) a member of the NCBBF, was a sign of support/endorsement for his involvement with the NCBBF and the People's Charter; and

- The Council of Chiefs Regulation 2008 is a law of the government of Fiji - a government that has been recognized by the UN and member countries.

"It will do the nation good if journalists are reporting independently and fairly and encouraging constructive dialogue," Adi Finau said.


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