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FBC Fiji CEO calls for journalism ‘solutions’

Journalists need to analyse the news and extend their focus to finding solutions rather than just reporting the issues, says Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited’s Chief Executive Officer Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, during a keynote address at the annual journalism awards of the University of the South Pacific in Suva.

He said this reflected a development journalism model, in which a media organisation could work with a government of the day to find a way forward, Pacific Media Centre reports. In his opinion, to work with the government did not necessarily mean a shift away from the concept of the Fourth Estate, or the watchdog role.

“Often journalists are thought of as watchdogs of the government and report critically on everything that they do,” he said.

However, he found fault with this model because “watchdogs bark only when something goes wrong, and are quiet otherwise”.

He said journalists needed to be more focused on finding solutions to issues as analysts of news, rather than just reporting on the issue.

Sayed-Khaiyum also commented on the role of media educators, saying it was imperative for journalism educators to not let their personal agendas interfere with their teaching. He also called for the revival of a media press club in Fiji, which he said was once an important feature of Fiji’s media landscape.

He raised concern over reports that some media organisations prohibited their reporters from mingling with reporters in other media companies, calling it short-sighted because “journalists can learn a lot from each other”, Sayed-Khaiyum said.