Coupfourpointfive understands the editor-in-chief of the Fiji Times, Netani Rika, has been told he no longer has a job with the paper.
The award winning journalist led the country's most established paper through a number of difficult years, including this past one when staff lived under great uncertainty as the regime ruthlessly forged ahead with its plans to introduce the controversial Media Decree.
Coupfourpointfive understands Rika, who has won several media awards and who has fought relentlessly for media feedom, was removed today from the role, under what appears to be pressure from the military regime.
The Fiji Times was bought recently by Mahendra Patel, of the Motibhai Group, who installed Dallas Swinstead as publisher. There was no mention at the time about the future of Rika but concern was expressed behind the scenes for the fearless editor-in-chief.
The talented Rika should be able to land a job with any reputable newsroom, including those in New Zealand and Australia, but the ignonimy of being told to go in such a manner would not be easy on anyone. Rika's departure is a loss to the industry and the Fiji Times, which this week started to show it'll sacrifice editorial integrity in the fight for the regime dollars.