The Fiji Times has defended itself against comments that were made by a Fijian politician who told members of the public not to read the long-established newspaper.
According to an article published on Monday, the Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, told famers in Seaqaqa not to read The Fiji Times because it “politicised issues and spread rumours”.
The Fiji Times editor-in-chief, Fred Wesley, spoke out in an article published by the newspaper yesterday. He said the newspaper had always dealt with an “unwanted tag” of being seen as a “pain in the back of the State”.
The newspaper was not anti-government or pro-government, the article stated.
“We would rather be seen as a newspaper that takes no side; simply a newspaper of integrity.
“We are not a newspaper hell-bent on hurting a government.”
Wesley said the Fiji Times wanted to ensure that readers knew it had a sense of fairness about itself.
“Our charter is to strive for accuracy and balance with the intention to do justice to every story we print and picture we use,” the newspaper reported.
Freedom of choice
In the same article comments from the newly elected Fijian Media Association president Nemani Delaibatiki was published.
Delaibatiki said a part of democracy was the freedom of expression and choice and that it was up to the farmers which newspaper they chose to read.
“The Attorney-General and Minister for Economy is entitled to his views.
“The farmers are free to make their own choice.”