19 Nov 2015

Student journalists in Fiji face a 'chilling' industry climate

1:15 pm on 19 November 2015

Fiji's student journalists have been told they can challenge the country's heady media climate but face pressures in doing so.

The University of the South Pacific recently held an awards night for student reporters who write for its newspaper, Wansolwara.

One story revealed resorts in Fiji causing environmental damage, which had not been reported or followed by the mainstream media.

A former head of the journalism school at USP and current Director of the Pacific Media Centre, Professor David Robie, says he has seen courageous student reporters and editors.

"To some decree they fall below the horizon as far as the media decree is even though they are subject to the media decree the same as any other journalist. They've got a little bit of leeway, well they feel that they've got a little leeway and their editors have always been quite courageous and they take things on, they have a go."

David Robie says the media decree still has a chilling effect and there are other pressures.

A student at USP was this year assaulted on campus after writing a controversial article.