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FBC chief calls for journalism ‘solutions’ at USP awards

Sherita Sharma [1]

Sherita Sharma receives her Gold Medal prize from Vodafone’s sponsorship manager Liga Gukisuva. Image: Maseikula Niumataiwalu/Wansolwara

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Nandni Vandhana in Suva

Journalists need to analyse the news and extend their focus to finding solutions rather than just reporting the issues, says Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited’s chief executive officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He said this reflected a development journalism model, in which a media organisation could work with a government of the day to find a way forward.

Sayed-Khaiyum was speaking as chief guest at the annual journalism awards of the University of the South Pacific in Suva last night.

Wansolwara logo [2]He said to work with the government did not necessarily mean a shift away from the concept of the Fourth Estate, or the watchdog role.

“Often journalists are thought of as watchdogs of the government and report critically on everything that they do,” he said.

However, he found fault with this model because “watchdogs bark only when something goes wrong, and are quiet otherwise”.

He said journalists needed to be more focused on finding solutions to issues as analysts of news, rather than just reporting on the issue.

Sayed-Khaiyum also commented on the role of media educators.

It was imperative for journalism educators to not let their personal agendas interfere with their teaching, he said.

He emphasised that media educators must ensure that what they do does not affect the learning of journalism students.

Sayed-Khaiyum also called for the revival of a media press club in Fiji.

He said this was once an important feature of Fiji’s media landscape.

He raised concern over reports that some media organisations prohibited their reporters from mingling with reporters in other media companies.

This was short-sighted because “journalists can learn a lot from each other”, Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Sherita Sharma was awarded the Vodafone Gold Medal for the top journalism student for 2012.

The Fiji Sun Tanoa Award for Journalism Student of the Year went to Asenaca Valemei and Yvette D’Univenville won the PINA Storyboard Award for Best Regional Reporting.

Source: 8143 Pacific Media Watch [3]