#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Fiji TV demotes two senior journalists on regime's order over claims of bias

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fiji TV demotes two senior journalists on regime's order over claims of bias

As Fiji's illegal government hastens to introduce its media decree, more journalists are suffering under its rule.

Two senior journalists at Fiji TV have been moved to lesser roles under claims they were biased against the Frank Bainimarama government.

It's believed Merana Kitione and Anish Chand were sidelined because of their links to the National Federation Party. Kitione, Fiji TV's Manager News Current Affairs and Sport, is married to former Fiji Times journalist and administrative officer for the National Federation Party, Kamal Iyer.

She is now acting training and development manager.

Another senior journalist, and close colleague, has been moved with her - desk editor and team leader news, Anish Chand, who is now in production. Chand has friends in the National Federation Party.

Kitione's old job has been filled by Tukaha Mua, who used to manage the programmes and distribution section, while Chand's position has been filled by Emily Mohi.

The Permanent Secretary for Information and Fiji Television Limited board member, Colonel Neumi Leweni, told Fiji Communications Limited the Fiji TV management was asked to remove Kitione and Chand from the newsroom.

Leweni was appointed to the board of directors on December 4 in 2009 and sources say the order to demote the two journalists came from high up in the illegal regime.

The junta revealed its controversial media decree last week, saying it's aimed at bringing about fairer reporting and greater responsibility and accountability from media organisations.

But the decree has been widely condemned by international media groups and regional governments, especially the provisions which will force media organisations to be 90 per cent owned by a local. Such a policy will effectively disestablish outfits like the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fiji Times, a regular and strong critic of the illegal government.

Under the media decree, media organisations can also be fined as much as five hundred thousand Fiji dollars and journalists imprisoned for up to five years.

In the past year, several journalists have been taken into custody and detained by the regime.

Editor's Note: Thursday April 15 6am
The Permanent Secretary for Information and Fiji Television board member, Lt Colonel Neumi Leweni, told Fiji Village yesterday the moving of Kitione and Chand was "an internal matter that had been dealt with by the management of Fiji One and the matter rests there.”
But Fiji TV’s lawyer, Tanya Waqanika, told a different story saying Kitione and Chand weren't the only staff that had been moved.
The changes she detailed, though, sounded unconvincing - the changes she revealed to Radio New Zealand sounded very much like Kitione and Chand's replacements.
Ms Waqanika was adamant Kitione was needed for training at its Suva office and other subsidiaries, saying she was one of Fiji TV's chief credited trainers.


Anonymous said...

Wow! Given the regimes pathetic record in other areas - only a matter of time before they turned their attention to this medium.

Thought TV was bad before?
24 7 Edinbourough Tattoo's.

mark manning said...

Death by a thousand decrees

Fiji should open for more dairy markets

Fiji Saw millers clamp down on unfair trade

Proposed Fiji Media Law Threatens Journalists

Proposed Fiji Media Law Threatens Journalists

Fiji Children To Be Protected Under New Child Decree

Fiji Women Can Participate In Decision Making Under New Decree

Anonymous said...

A taste of things to come. Be afraid because when the decree is formally introduced, worse will happen. People won't be able to afford to work as a journalist in Fiji - they'll have the fear of jail plus financial penalties. Fiji once had a reputation for producing fine, resourceful and courageous journalists.....yes, especially during the coups. Thanks to the arrogance of this haphazard government this is longer a viable profession. Watch otbloggers you're next and you,too, you Kiwi and Aussie reporters.

Anonymous said...

Well the removal of the two "senior" journos will augur well for the Fiji TV Newsroom as a whole. The two news personnel did not have any regard for balanced reporting and their quest for promoting anything and everything from the NFP is not secret.

Anonymous said...

The military regime is setting up a media environment which will be flooded by cheap incapable journalists who just want a pay packet rather than credible, honest reporters.

Media freedom died the day Frank and Khaiyum took over the Government through nothing other than the barrels of guns!

They will be remembered and cursed into their graves by the grassroot people of fiji!

totally useless fiji junta said...

Bring in journalists from sri lanka. They will be as useless as the parasites brought in by the corrupt treasonous gates as so called judges!!!
What has happened to the germ NoPryde? Is he looking for an escape from his support for the human rights abusing regime? He will never escape what is coming to him for the pain this racist intruder has inflicted on innocent Fijians.

Anonymous said...

Gone there for evrything else. Sri Lankan reporters write copy in English?

Anonymous said...

@10.45 With the censors operating, it would've hard for Kitione and Chand to 'bias' 'cos they simply would not have got away with it. Hard to believe they would've been able to get away with what you claim.

Journo said...

Sri Lanka? You may be right, bro, this is the junta we're talking about after all. They may even find some wealthy entrepreneur from up that way to buy the media operations in Fiji, since they will pretty much be up for grabs in a short time. Sri Lanka the Dubai of the Pacific.

Anonymous said...

@5.09pm I agree to some extent. And I'm in now way a fan of what Frank is doing but as far the two Fiji TV reporters are concerned, they know that they blatantly used their authority to promote the NFP so if they have done the crime they should also do the time. Journos should be impartial at all times.

Radiolucas said...

@ 10:45

With such "bias" - what difference would it make in a country without political parties? It is highly churlish to suggest that this may be a good "thing" when there is no media freedom left to speak of - I would rather hear about the FLP and what they are doing to save Fiji rather than the complete silence that the military are trying to impose.

Keep The Faith said...

The commnentators alluding to Kitione and Chand's NFP allegiances is really questionable.

For the past extensive years that both journo's have been reporters at Fiji TV, why has this become an issue now?

For Leweni to be commenting that it is an internal matter is also quite pathetic -- esp as he sits on the board.

As for this Waqanika person trying to smooth it over, a company lawyer is the LAST person who should be making a public comment about such an issue because it immediately raises questions.

A response like this should only have come from the CEO. When its thrown to the lawyers to respond to, you know they're guilty as hell of something and that they're being VERY (legally) CAREFUL about how they're pitching their response.