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Unpopular Fiji Sun reporter breached Media Decree

March 9, 2015

Pratibha: Defamed SODELPA Youth leader.

Nasty piece of works gets done for breaching the Media Decree: about time.

Fiji Sun journalist Jyoti Pratibha has been writing biased stories for some time; her wings have now hopefully been clipped by MIDA, which has found she defamed complainant Pita Waqavonovono.

Bloggers will know Pratibha from her vile reporting for the regime favoured Fiji Sun news pages and cheap gawar Coconut Wireless column; she wrote the offending article about Waqavonovono late last year.

Pratibha, who has directed most of her poisonous attacks at SODELPA hierarchy and supporters, has been pinged for writing Waqavonovono should be “cleaned out” of SODELPA, and that he needed deodorant and a shave as well.

The decision has come from MIDA chairman Ashwin Raj, who has described the article as ‘antagonistic, thoroughly yoked in the logic of race and bereft of facts’.

The story, of course, was one of the Sun’s phallic efforts to promote Frank Bainimarama and make out the Opposition was ‘racist and divisive’ and holding the country back.

Pratibha’s not so glorious missive Person of the Year: The PM who delivers, has now been found to be lacking ‘balance, accuracy and the principles of responsible journalism’.

The Fiji Sun has since circulated a rather feeble statement rejecting the MIDA decision as flawed citing what it says is ‘one of Fiji’s most experienced and respected lawyers, Suruj Sharma’ whose legal opinion is that Raj’s findings ‘are clearly without legal and jurisdictional basis of facts of law’.

Peter Lomas’ statement claims the reporting around the MIDA findings has also been ‘poorly informed’ and Pratiba has been subjected to a ‘scurrilous smear campaign’.

In one of its own articles, the paper is now telling Raj he has until next Monday (March 9) to ‘retract and apologise to the Fiji Sun’.

This blog has previously deleted numerous comments about Pratibha, believing she should be given the benefit of the doubt, especially as she was a woman, and a lot of the comments were derogatory, but like her employer she appears to have no or few ethics.

According to anecdotes we’ve heard, she is quarrelsome and hostile with her subjects and is quick to make trouble if she doesn’t get her way.

We say to Pratibha, who has gone from ordinary hack to managing editor in what seems to be a very short time, and the Fiji Sun: suck it up, you were done fair and square, and it’s been a long time coming.

Waqavonovono’s complaint to Ashwin Raj:

RE: Person of the Year Article (27/12/14) FIJISUNI write to make a complaint on an article by Jyoti Phatibha in the FijiSun newspaper on the 27 December 2014 under the title Person of the Year.

I am most concerned with Ms Pratibha’s decision to attack SODELPA, carrying inaccuracies into the hands of the papers readers. In claiming the Party was resoundingly defeated at the polls, that the party played the divisive race card and whilst falling short of campaigning for Fiji First, that SODELPA’s policy’s were in no way a contrast to Bainimarama’s platform for delivering Economic, Security, Equality and Service to the people of Fiji.

This is a abuse of the newspapers privileges and a clear sign that people like Pratibha can-not be trusted to write neutral, factual and non personal articles, which are journalistic principles I thought guided your newspaper.

Where is the Proof that SODELPA played divisive racial politics in the lead up to the September 2014 General Elections? Where is the proof that SODELPA was canceled out in the national vote or resoundingly defeated and are not represented in Parliament?. Where is the proof that SODELPA via their manifesto and historic democratic governance since 2001 as SDL could not provide a platform for delivering Economic, Security, Equality and Service to the people of Fiji?
Fiji Sun has deliberately produced an article that is not factual and littered with one persons controversial ideas presented as attribution.

I personally think that the Fiji Sun, is fast bordering on embarrassment to Fiji’s mainstream media and Ms Pratibha’s lack of practice of Journalistic Ethics is a concern, and it seems very likely that Ms Pratibha and the Fiji Sun are seeking to distort facts, create animosity and rekindle racial slurs with it’s constant hate reporting on anything political other then FIJI FIRST or Frank Bainimarama.

On the 23rd September 2014, I wrote to the Media Industry Development Authority and the Fiji Sun to complain about an article written by Ms Pratibha about me; where she demanded that I as the SODELPA Youth President should be ‘cleaned out’ of the Party. She also declared to the Nation that I should Shave and buy myself a deodorant. Since then, no retraction or apology has been issued.Ms Pratibha also complained to The International Federation of Journalists regarding a story she had fabricated involving my Facebook posts – on the 10/09/14, the Federation reported that Ms Pratibha received threats and was a target of an assault after I posted a comment about her on my Facebook page. I hope Ms Pratibha has evidence that I have written so passionately about her (like she has about me) because uptill now, I have tried not to comment on her unprofessional journalistic skills. I also cannot can-not be blamed for all the racist comments and feelings generated by her articles and hate reporting. These are the fruits of the newspapers inaction over hate reporting and the distortion of the true feelings of indigenous people and our leaders.As a citizen of Fiji, and a reader of the Fiji Sun, I demand change in the Newspaper’s reporting immediately.

I also demand that Ms Pratibha is disciplined for her racist, biased and hate reporting.

I also demand that Fiji Sun perform a background check on the facts calling SODELPA a racist Party; and immediately accept that Indigenous Rights is Human Rights, and the rights of Fiji’s Indigenous population to self determination and safeguarding under International Human Rights Standards is not Racist but an exercise of our responsibilities as Indigenous People.

Where is Media Freedom when parcels of the Media act irresponsibly and act to promote one party rather then present a unbiased and factual approach to it’s reportingVinakaPeter Waqavonovono

Peter Waqavonovono <peterwaqa@gmail.com> 08:39 (10 hours ago)
to Ashwin, nemani.delaiba.

Mr Raj
I thank you for your swift response, I also ask, why are you waiting for FijiSun to respond? Does MIDA not have the resources or the time to investigate these serious claims immediately and make a suitable discernment on the matter

I draw your attention to a complaint made to MIDA on the airing of an advice to Frank Bainimarama by a member of the Tailevu Provincial Council in April 2014. In a statement to Fiji Citizens, you said “Masquerading itself as an exercise in freedom of expression, political discourse has, in fact, descended to unabashed racial vilification and in some instances its content is tantamount to injurious or hate speech,” and in part without Fiji TV’s official response did you not pass judgment.

Did MIDA wait for the official response of Radio New Zealand and Al Jazeera before claiming the organisations were guilty of biased, unbalanced and inaccurate reporting.

The reason why I think, seeking Fiji Sun’s official response is nonsensical, is captured in my initial complaint. Since the 23rd September 2014, I have yet to receive a official response from Fiji Sun and thus you have yet to ‘adjudicate’ on that matter.Mr Raj, I ask that you urgently look into this matter as Fiji Sun seems to be running wild on fabricating news and creating much racial tensions by attacking Indigenous Rights, Leaders and Consciousness
Mr Raj, I repost my demands herein

As a citizen of Fiji, and a reader of the Fiji Sun, I demand change in the Newspaper’s reporting immediately.
I also demand that Ms Pratibha is disciplined for her racist, biased and hate reporting.
I also demand that Fiji Sun perform a background check on the facts calling SODELPA a racist Party; and immediately accept that Indigenous Rights is Human Rights, and the rights of Fiji’s Indigenous population to self determination and safeguarding under International Human Rights Standards is not Racist but an exercise of our responsibilities as Indigenous People.

Where is Media Freedom when parcels of the Media act irresponsibly and act to promote one party rather then present a unbiased and factual approach to it’s reportingOn Sun, Dec 28, 2014 at 8:58 PM, Ashwin Raj<ashwin.raj@usp.ac.fj> wrote:Dear Mr. Waqavonovono,

MIDA will treat this as an official complaint and will seek Fiji Sun’s official response before it convenes to adjudicate on the matter.
Ashwin Raj
Chair, MIDA.

source – c4.5; posted by rusi varani for swm
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