Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Asia Pacific Report
 

FIJI: Wasea Bhasha turns 'political', states broadcaster


FBC stated the television station has continuously been involved in national building and has never intended to promote any ill will. Image: FBC

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Item: 9760

SUVA (Fiji Broadcasting Corporation/Fiji TV/Fiji Times/Pacific Media Watch): The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) stated the recent issues surrounding its Wasea Bhasha language show have now turned ‘political’.

This comes after Ro Teimumu Kepa, the leader of the Fiji opposition party SODELPA , released a statement which called for the FBC chief-executive, Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, to resign.

"I call on the CEO of FBC to take responsibility and resign from his position and allow a full and unimpeded investigation to be carried out and all the officials associated with the programme taken to account," she said.

Backlash

The backlash comes after FBC aired offensive comments on a recent episode of Wasea Bhasha. The content has been described as racist, and placed allegations against indigenous Fijians.

FBC has since confirmed the suspension of the shows producer Nemani Bainivalu and an investigation into the issue. 

Public apology

Bainivalu made an initial public apology when the show aired and said he took responsibility for the programmes content. 

"As the producer and creator of the show, I take full responsibility for this and I would like to assure all viewers of Wasea Bhasha that I did not mean to be deliberately malicious with the content of my show against any individual or any group," Bainivalu said.

The Fiji Times reported that despite Bainivalu's apology, public complaints were lodged with police, the Media Industry Development Authority and the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission.

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