PACMAS Blog

Media watchdog role highlighted in parliamentary masterclass

Steve Chase in parliamentary masterclass session

Steve Chase in parliamentary masterclass session

Accuracy and fairness are important in media reporting to lead the public to make better informed decisions.

The Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Jiko Luveni made these comments to participants at the recent PACMAS Parliamentary Masterclass Workshop for journalist at the Tanoa Hotel in Suva.

“The media must ensure there is a free flow of information and that it interprets information accurately because it has a watchdog function and often informs public opinion and debate.”

The training was facilitated by ABC Australia’s Steve Chase focusing on media’s duties and responsibilities in information flow aiding the public’s right to know.

Participants completing M&E

Participants completing M&E

Media Industry Development Authority director, Ashwin Raj, advised parliamentarians, “to recognise that the media is an important conduit between the public and the Parliament in facilitating the flow of information between citizens and their elected representatives and governments.”

Speaker Luveni said that “parliamentary reporting required sufficient background knowledge and that the media was expected to provide adequate context and analysis as well as being able to put developments into perspective for people to make sense of the proceedings.”

Participants at the Parliamentary Masterclass1 workshop

Participants at the Parliamentary Masterclass1 workshop

Media practitioners in attendance were reminded of the importance of knowing the media and the law and parliamentary proceedings given the important role it plays in relation to Fiji’s parliament.

The collaboration between MIDA and the Australian Government funded PACMAS was commended by Dr.Luveni for organising and engaging in a series of workshops to strengthen the reporting of Parliament by the local media.