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Date Posted: 04:03:59 12/08/03 Mon
Author: Nalinesh Arun Sawani
Subject: Unwarranted comments

Published in the Fiji Sun:

Unwarranted comments

The Journalism awards night for USP on Friday left a bitter taste in my mouth. Dr Som Prakash, in an Olympian judgement, slammed the print media for its atrocious language, lack of judgement and a lackadaisical approach to the profession.

On the other hand, Dr Prakash goes on to ask for more support from the same media, citing lack of support in 2002 as a major pain in the neck for the school of journalism.

Dr Prakash, as a long-time journalist who presently keeps close contact with almost all reporters, I feel your comments to be unwarranted.

First allow me to delineate on the conditions our journalists labour under. Journalists in Fiji work in what I call a pressure cooker environment. In a country considered by most as not-media-savvy and neither conducive to frankness, these journalists deliver an awareness that keeps democracy, or a semblance of it, within our grasp.

They are ill- paid, many are ill-treated. Yet without them, Fiji will not be what it is now. A journalist requires a certain amount of grit to get the job done. They retain a stiff-upper lip under some very trying conditions. Their job is a grind - some journalists put in 18 hours of work, day in, day out. Believe me, this is true.

As to the journalism awards function, the display of glamour and froth and frippery on Friday night does not help raise confidence that the school is anywhere close to producing journalists with a hunger for the truth. Journalism is a craft but the basis of it still remains ethics and morality, evidence of which I did not see at the awards function.

Please leave the journalists in the field alone. They are doing an admirable job, to the best of their abilities. Criticism they have to the full - maybe a little support from you would help?

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