“MIDA Chairman demands transparency from mainstream media editors” 20 July 2014.
Possibly in response to my complaints (not published by the media) (https://narseyonfiji.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/mida-chairman-and-newspaper-editorial-policy-on-letters-to-the-editor-16-july-2014/)
and it seems other complaints, the Chairman of MIDA (Mr Ashwin Raj) demands a response on mainstream media’s editorial policy (while giving a back-hander to some complainants).
Mr Aswhin Raj wrote to Mr Matai Akauola (CEO, MIDA) on 19/7/2014 (in red below):
You will attest to the fact that on several occasions, I have requested the mainstream media to disclose their in-house editorial policy. In the interest of transparency, the public should know exactly the rationale behind the publishing of select articles, opinion pieces, letters to the editor to the exclusion of others. There are some who have received unfettered access and prominence in select media outlets and still lamenting that their contributions are being heavily censored while there are those who are complaining that they have no access to mainstream media at all.
I had also suggested the idea of setting up a media monitoring unit which the mainstream media unequivocally rejected even though such an initiative has been undertaken in many advanced liberal democracies that are strong on freedom of expression.
So the onus is really on the media to substantiate their claim that they have in place an in house editorial policy that ensures that the media is balanced, that they are committed to ensuring access and equity and are transparent at all times.
This is an important issue about access and equity and must not be misconstrued as MIDA muzzling media freedom. How does the mainstream media ensure that there is balance?
To date, I have received nothing from the media houses. I am now requiring the media to disclose this.
Appreciate it if you can circulate this e mail to the media. Can we convene an editors roundtable soon please?