25 Jun 2014

USP academics stand by comments

4:52 pm on 25 June 2014

Journalism experts at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji being slammed by the Media Industry and Development Authority as reckless and ill-informed say they stand by their comments.

Pat Craddock and Matthew Thompson issued a press release at the weekend speaking out about alleged government harrassment of the media and justification of torture by the military.

Pat Craddock

Pat Craddock Photo: Supplied

The Chair of MIDA, Ashwin Raj, says the statements are unsubstantiated.

But Mr Craddock says it is fact a journalist was denied access to the Pacific Islands Development Forum and another was hounded.

He says they made reference to Australian media reports of the Fiji military commander admitting soldiers had beaten citizens who had expressed dissent because no one else was talking about it.

"We felt as academics with expertise in journalism teaching young journalists to be ethical and bold, we had to speak out about this. Just because there's an election coming up, it's not ethical for people to sort of shut up."

Pat Craddock says his views are personal and not those of the USP's.