Veteran journalists highlight challenges in media industry

July 5, 2024 4:13 pm

Fijivillage Editor Vijay Narayan [right] with Fiji Times Editor Fred Wesley [middle] at the 2024 Pacific Media Conference

Fijian veteran journalists have highlighted the challenges that they have encountered throughout every period of uncertainty in Fiji.

Speaking at a discussion on the state of the media at the 2024 Pacific Media Conference; the seasoned journalists say while they celebrate the repeal of the 2010 Media Industry Development Act, they have already faced a lot of difficulties in a series of political upheavals.

Fijivillage Editor Vijay Narayan says they would have to pay a heavy price for democracy in their endeavor to acquire freedom for the media.

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“So, when you talk about challenges, there have been threats. We’ve been personally attacked. We’ve heard stories, issues, and financial constraints without funding from the government.”

Narayan says there should be genuine collaboration in order to ensure a level playing field for every organization and its staff in the media.

“We need to evolve with time. Many challenges lie ahead, but we need to engage with each other. It has to be fair game. I hope after you hear what I said, you understand what we have been through. It wasn’t just MIDA; there are other things at play to strengthen us.”

Similar sentiments were echoed by Fiji Times Editor Fred Wesley, who stressed the importance of the government’s support for the media.

“We need governments that understand and place value in democracy, and the value of free opinion. There has to be freedom of the press. No pressures, no suppressions.”

The Coalition Government remains steadfast in their mission to accelerate the strength of journalism as they continue to advocate for democracy in Fiji.