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August 01, 2014
Prof Wadan Narsey - MIDA unaccountable while papers continue to censor
I sent a Letter to you on the 3 July 2014, requesting your response to a number of matters concerning the development of the media industry but you responded to only one query- that you had requested the media to give you their general editorial policy.
You have refused to respond to the other queries directed to you as Chairman of the Media Development Industry (MIDA).
Nor have you asked the media why they did not print my previous letter on the salaries for Bainimarama and Khaiyum for the years 2010 to 2013. This question has been publicly raised by not just taxpayers and voters, but no less than Mr Mahendra Chaudhry a former elected Prime Minister of Fiji, and also Bainimarama’s own former Minister of Finance who one would expect to have a clue or two, on this particular issue.
While we wait for the media to respond to what you had asked them, I wish to ask you again to respond publicly to the following questions which all media are still interested in despite your previous refusal to respond.
As a “level playing field” is an essential part of the development of a free, fair, competitive and transparent media industry, could you please inform the public what is your position on the continuing biases in the media industry itself:
(1) tax-payers advertisement funds being channelled by the Bainimarama Government only to Fiji Sun with The Fiji Times being totally denied.
(2) outright subsidies given to FBC via government budget and government guarantees of loans from FDB, with no such subsidies given to either Fiji TV or the other radio broadcasters, Communications Fiji Ltd.
(3) the clearly intimidating renewal of the license for Fiji TV on a six monthly basis, while FBC TV suffers from no such restriction
(4) While Fiji TV’s accounts are available to the shareholders, FBC accounts are not available at all to the taxpayers who supposedly own FBC.
(4) Mai TV’s “scoop” at obtaining rights to the broadcast of FIFA World Cup (a legitimate entrepreneurial transaction admired in the business world) being forcibly shared by decree amongst the other broadcasters, on financial terms dictated by the Bainimarama Government rather than negotiated amongst themselves as a market transaction.
(5) have you queried Fiji TV and the owners Fijian Holdings Limited why respected senior journalist and administrator Mr Anish Chand was sacked from Fiji TV on this year’s World Press Freedom day (as was related to you during the World Press Freedom Day panel at USP).
Given that you have personally made many public pronouncements that you want MIDA to be accountable to the Fiji public, I would be grateful if
(a) you would request the media to print this Letter to the Editor,
(b) so that the public and the media can also note that these questions have been posed to you, and can wait eagerly for your usual interesting response.