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Journalism Faces 'Toughest Times', Says Educator

Journalism Faces 'Toughest Times', Says Educator

By Tevita Vuibau

SUVA (The Fiji Times / Pacific Media Watch): Journalism in Fiji has taken a beating, but renowned Pacific Island journalism educator Professor David Robie believes Fiji media is still surviving strongly.

Speaking to The Fiji Times, Dr Robie, a former head of the the University of the South Pacific's journalism programme, acknowledged Fiji journalism faced some of its toughest times in recent years under censorship.

"Journalism has taken a beating in Fiji in recent years. Fiji journalism was once a famous standard and example for the region," Prof Robie said.

"The strongest countries for the media were once PNG and Fiji, in particular, but we've now got a generation of journalists coming through that have actually not experienced living in a free media environment and that poses a lot of challenges," he said.

However, Prof Robie, director of the Pacific Media Centre at the Auckland University of Technology, said the media needed to rebuild.

He was responding to comments by the current head of the USP's journalism programme, Canadian journalism educator Dr Marc Edge.

Dr Edge told the two-day Media and Democracy conference at USP, Fijian standards of journalism were not good enough and he was working to raise standards to an international level.

"I don't agree about the international standards comments made by Dr Edge," Dr Robie said.

"The fact is that a lot of really good Fiji journalists have gone out from Fiji and got good jobs all over the world from USP. So, yes, things are difficult at the moment but it is a long-term process."


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