FIJI: News groups accuse Fiji Media Watch of campaign against them
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
AUCKLAND: Mainstream media in Fiji has hit out at the Fiji Media Watch organisation, accusing it of unprofessional and “generalised statements”.
The Fiji Village website and FM96 radio station, run by Communications Fiji Limited, came out attacking the media education group for campaigning against the “mass media”.
“There is also no substantiated and credible information or data available, based on any study carried out in Fiji on what impacts mass media is actually having on the people,” said Roneel Lal on the Fiji Village website yesterday.
Fiji Media Watch has been running media education workshops in Fiji for years but has increased the number of events significantly over the past six months.
On its website, the group says its aim is to “raise awareness of the power of the mass media in today's Fiji and to encourage ways in which the media can enrich people's lives.”
It also says that it encourages people to adopt a “critical, selective and appreciative attitude towards the media".
However, its actions have riled some broadcasters, and Lal blamed media educator Lusiana Senibulu for making unsubstantiated claims that “certain media programs are increasing incidents of incest and rape in our society and that children are failing classes due to its impacts".
According to Lal, Senibulu said the claims were based on a report by students of a Fijian primary school.
Senibulu could not be reached for comment, but the group’s website says its real aim is to increase media literacy in Fiji
“People have a right to information but also a right to know how to interpret information, through critical media awareness,” it says.
“While the traditional literacy rate in Fiji is high (over 80 per cent), the level of media literacy is low.” - Pacific Media Watch