28 Apr 2014

Fiji Media Authority says political reports should to justice to vernacular

1:36 pm on 28 April 2014

The chairman of the Media Industry Development Authority in Fiji says asking journalists to translate articles in the vernacular i-Taukei when reporting on political speeches is not heavy handed.

Earlier this month MIDA said it would keep a closer eye on the media and public debate leading up to the September elections.

Ashwin Raj says contrary to earlier reports, speeches don't have to be submitted to the Authority but says media organisations need to ensure they accurately report what was said.

"Why don't you make your speeches accessible and consistent to all the demographics, for instance the problem we've had that certain speeches in the vernacular are actually quite extremist while the English version is watered down. And so I think the public deserves to have a full transparent discourse, if you've got nothing to hide why would you worry."

Earlier this month Ashwin Raj censured Fiji TV for broadcasting so-called hate speech and asked it to make a correction.

He says fines could also be levied but that would be up to the Solicitor General's office to pursue.