Do the right thing – shoot the message, not the messenger – Prof Prasad

Do the right thing – shoot the message, not the messenger – Prof Prasad

By Vijay Narayan
Tuesday 03/05/2022
Professor Biman Prasad - [Image: National Federation Party]

National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says do the right thing – shoot the message, not the messenger.

In a statement on World Press Freedom Day, Professor Prasad says it is totally wrong and unethical for Government or anyone to launch a tirade against the media organisation and their News Director, the Editor-in Chief or anyone else just because they don’t like the media amplifying the truth and voice of the people without fear.

Professor Prasad says it is critically important for the media to be impartial and amplify the voice of the people without fear, especially in an election year.

The NFP Leader says since September last year, the media, particularly The Fiji Times and Communications Fiji Limited, operators of five radio stations and the vastly popular fijivillage news site, have been repeatedly criticised by Government for amplifying the voice of the people through their elected representatives.

Professor Prasad says The Fiji Times and CFL are simply doing what any media organization should at all times.

He says they are simply performing their fundamental role as an effective watchdog of government.

The NFP Leader the media organizations are the messenger of truth but unfortunately the truth is unpalatable to the current Government.

Professor Prasad says furthermore, the Attorney-General’s statement in parliament on 24th September last year, while agreeing to the tirade against The Fiji Times and CFL by Assistant Minister Selai Adimaitoga for the media to declare which political party they support in their editorial policy, is the clearest indication of Government preferring a pro-Fiji First and partisan media in the country.

The NFP Leader says there is no place for a partisan media in Fiji that use media freedom as a blank cheque and perform the sole task of being a mouthpiece of Government.

He says instead, Government must fully adhere to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through the media regardless of frontiers.

The NFP Leader says this freedom and right are reposed in the people, which the State and politicians must respect at all times.

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