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MIDA seeks explanation

June 24, 2014 5:51 am

The Media Industry Development Authority is seeking explanations from the University of the South Pacific on a statement issued by two members of its faculty.

USP Journalism programme Acting Coordinator Patrick Craddock and lecturer Matt Thomson recently put out a statement saying the treatment of journalists, Netani Rika and Samisoni Pareti was an indication of how the military government treats journalists.

MIDA Chair, Ashwin Raj says none of their statements hold true and they didn’t bother to check their facts.

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“These reckless academics are trying to instill fear in the citizens of Fiji. It’s another feeble attempt to keep us in a perpetual state f crisis. The political situation may be less than ideal but a lot has been achieved. We must move beyond the debate between legality and legitimacy.”

This afternoon, Patrick Craddock told FBC News he stands by his statement – reflecting on events that have occurred since 2006 – and it has nothing to do with USP.

“Matthew Thomson and I, we put it out as a personal statement. We both signed it – we don’t have to ask USP to authorise this. It’s not a USP statement. It’s to do with the ethics of Journalism.”

Information Permanent Secretary Sharon Smith-Johns has apologised to Samisoni Pareti for refusing his accreditation to cover the Pacific Islands Development Forum in Nadi last week.

She says this was based on incorrect information due to miscommunication between the Ministry and the Media Industry Development Authority.

Late this afternoon USP issued a statement to say the comments made by Matt and Patrick were their own personal comments.

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