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Veteran journalist to head Fiji media authority

Veteran journalist Matai Akauola has been appointed director of Fiji’s Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA).

According to Fiji Broadcasting Corporation News, Mr Akauola, who is currently manager of the Suva-based Pacific Islands News Association, will take up the appointment next month.

He has previously worked in radio, television and print media as a sports journalist, editor and news manager. 

The Authority was established by the Media Industry Development Decree (MIDD) in 2010 by the government led by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama. FBC News says it was “aimed at improving the media’s objectivity and discipline”.

Pacific Media Watch reports that the Authority has the power to enforce the media decree and investigate possible violations that could be punished by a fine or imprisonment depending on the level of the violation.

The PMC says the authority also has a commitment to developing vernacular media in Fiji, long-neglected in favour of the English-language mainstream media.