Simpson Urges: Always Provide Accurate Information
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.”