[Source: Facebook/ Fijian Government]
The Fijian Media Association has expressed concerns about foreign dignitaries who visit the country and dodge media engagements with both the local and international journalists.
General Secretary Stanley Simpson says these engagements are important because there is huge public and strategic interest in these visits.
Simpson adds time should be allocated for visiting leaders and local leaders to take questions and discuss issues related to partnerships.
He also says it is concerning that during the current visit by the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, Fijian and international media were restricted from asking questions and were only provided a briefing.
However this is not limited to China’s visit only.
The association says when the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, visited in February, only one media organization from Fiji was chosen to ask one single question during his entire visit.
Simpson says the FMA commends Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong for providing access to the media, taking questions from every outlet and arranging a doorstop during her visit to Fiji last week.
The association adds that leaders at this level should be ready to take and answer questions from the media, facilitate access and provide opportunities and space to do so.
FBC News has sent questions to the Chinese and US Embassies in Suva.