Report – By Daniel Drageset
Jyoti Pratibha of the Fiji Sun has criticised Radio Australia journalist Bruce Hill for “unbalanced” coverage of the new Fiji constitution.
In an online “Coconut Wireless” opinion article, the newspaper’s west editor disapproved of contacting Australian National University academic Professor Brij Lal for comments on the constitution, saying it was “a long, long time since he left Fiji to advance his own career in other countries and other directions”.
“Hasn’t Mr Hill got any modern day Fijian academic experts in his contact book? Or don’t they say what he wants to hear?,” Pratibha asked.
The journalist nicknamed the Pacific Beat programme where Bruce Hill interviewed Professor Brij Lal as “the Bruce and Brij show”.
In capital letters, Pratibha advised potential sources commenting on the new constitution to “read first, talk later”, suggesting that “[m]aybe some who have taken it upon themselves to criticise our Fijian constitution on social media should read it first”.
“They should understand what the constitution actually says. Ignorance ain’t always bliss,” Pratibha said.
The new Fiji constitution will replace the 1997 constitution that was set aside by the military regime four years ago. Professor Lal was one of the three authors of the 1997 constitution.
Daniel Drageset is the Pacific Scoop internship editor.