Simp­son Urges: Al­ways Pro­vide Ac­cu­rate In­for­ma­tion

Fiji Sun - - SUNFUN - WATI TALEBULA Edited by Maraia Vula Feed­back: wati.talebula@fi­jisun.com.fj

Even with the chal­lenges posed COVID-19, the role of the me­dia to pro­vide ac­cu­rate news hasn’t changed.

Fi­jian Me­dia As­so­ci­a­tion Gen­er­alsec­re­tary Stan­ley Simp­son urges me­dia col­leagues to al­ways make sure that the news they de­liver is ac­cu­rate.

This is his mes­sage to ev­ery­one in the me­dia in­dus­try as World Press Freedom Day is cel­e­brated to­day. World Press Freedom Day is an op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate and recog­nise the work of jour­nal­ists and the me­dia and the im­por­tance of freedom of the press.

Mr Simp­son said the press was of­ten re­ferred to as the fourth es­tate, and vi­tal for democ­racy.

“I urge my me­dia col­leagues not to rush out the news un­til you’ve ticked off all of the jour­nal­ism ethics boxes, in­clud­ing the prin­ci­ples of truth­ful­ness, ac­cu­racy, ob­jec­tiv­ity, im­par­tial­ity, fair­ness and pub­lic ac­count­abil­ity,” Mr Simp­son said. “We need to be as ac­cu­rate and as re­spon­si­ble as we have ever been. We need to be as ac­cu­rate and as re­spon­si­ble as we have ever been. “We dis­sem­i­nate news and in­for­ma­tion in the in­ter­est of the pub­lic. We hold the peo­ple in con­trol ac­count­able for their ac­tions and

Fiji Sun jour­nal­ist Ilai­jia Ravuwai in­ter­view­ing mar­ket ven­dor Emele Ranadi, 28, in Ta­mavua on May 2, 2020.

make sure the de­ci­sions they make are for the good of the pub­lic as they claim.

“To this end, and to be able to serve our pur­pose to the peo­ple, it is crit­i­cal for the me­dia to be in­de­pen­dent, to be ac­cu­rate, to be fair and to be free. The press has the power to cre­ate or change per­cep­tions on the ground. Hence the need to be fair and re­spon­si­ble.”

“There is so much in­for­ma­tion go­ing around and peo­ple have to be very care­ful of the source of news they get.

It is im­por­tant that peo­ple keep turn­ing to solid news sources in the me­dia that have served them over time,” he said.

“We need to take great care in the news we con­sume, as it could be the dif­fer­ence be­tween un­cer­tainty and sta­bil­ity or be­tween life and death dur­ing this pan­demic.

“In Fiji, the im­pact we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing is sim­i­lar to the rest of the world; busi­nesses have shut down, our tourism and trade sec­tors on which our econ­omy de­pends have been hit hard; a na­tion­wide cur­few has been run­ning for over a month, schools have closed, peo­ple have been laid off or work­ing on re­duced hours, and all of th­ese for an in­def­i­nite pe­riod.

“In this re­gard, our job is to dis­sem­i­nate what is fac­tual, true and bal­anced.

“The me­dia in­dus­try is strug­gling through this pan­demic with loss of rev­enue, job losses, and a more dan­ger­ous en­vi­ron­ment to op­er­ate in. But we have a role and duty to play and it is one we have to rise to re­gard­less of the chal­lenges.

“This is where we build and ce­ment our trust with the peo­ple. I salute my me­dia col­leagues for stand­ing up to be counted at this time.

“There is still a lot to learn and im­prove on but we will never grow by sit­ting on the side­lines. Let’s use the mo­men­tous day to af­firm our prin­ci­ples to­wards a free and fair press.”

Wati Talebula

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