Fiji news media ‘acted responsibly’ in questions over AG’s ego, says FMA

FMA's president Stanley Simpson
FMA's president Stanley Simpson ... “an independent, strong and responsible media” is the backbone of democracy. Image: Fiji Times

By Felix Chaudhary in Suva

Fijian Media Association president Stanley Simpson says a journalist who asked Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum to respond to comments made against him by opposition National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad have acted responsibly.

He made the comment in relation to a question posed by a Fijivillage journalist to the AG about Professor Prasad’s statement that Sayed- Khaiyum should separate his ego from his ministerial job during a press conference on Sunday.

The AG’s response to the journalist was, “So you see again, responsible media organisations would simply not report what somebody utters even if it’s nonsensical and try and get a response from us.”

Simpson said the backbone of any democracy was “an independent, strong and responsible media”.

“They inform, critique, analyse and stimulate debate that is vital to the democratic process,” he said.

“In this regard, the media was asking the Attorney-General to respond to a statement made by an elected Member of Parliament and political party leader, Biman Prasad.

Media ‘behaved responsibly’
“The FMA’s stand is that the media behaved responsibly in seeking a comment from the AG to the statement made against him by Biman Prasad.

“To not report Biman Prasad’s statement would have been irresponsible.

“To not seek a response from the AG would have also been irresponsible. Both are elected representatives of the people.

“The media acted responsibly in endeavouring to inform the people of the views of their elected members of Parliament on a political issue.”

Felix Chaudhary is a Fiji Times journalist. Republished with permission.

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