Fiji Times

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Fijitimes.jpg
Type Daily newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Motibhai Group of Companies
Publisher Fiji Times Limited
Editor Fred Wesley
Founded 4 September 1869
Headquarters Suva, Fiji
Website www.fijitimes.com.fj

The Fiji Times is a daily English-language newspaper published in Suva, Fiji. Established in Levuka on 4 September 1869 by George Littleton Griffiths (1844 Woolwich, England - 1908 Suva, Fiji), it is Fiji's oldest newspaper still operating. The newspaper's masthead states that it is: "The First Newspaper Published In The World Every Day".

The Fiji Times is owned by Motibhai Group of Companies[1], which purchased it from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp on 22 September 2010[2]. The Fiji Times Limited board is chaired by Kirit Patel (as of 2010), and includes Rajesh Patel[3], a resident director appointed in 2010 and Jinesh Patel[4], the marketing manager for the Motibhai Group of Companies. The Company Secretary is Venkteshwar Permal. The current general manager is Hank Arts[5].

The former publisher Evan Hannah was forcibly removed from Fiji in 2008 as he was accused by the interim government of meddling in Fijian politics. This was prior to the sale by News Corp to the Motibhai Group of Companies.

An online edition is published, featuring local news, sport and weather.

Front page on September 16, 2011. The main headline is Fiji's participation in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Coups and censorship[edit]

The Rabuka administration censored the Fiji Times for a while following the first military coup of 14 May 1987. In protest, the newspaper published an edition with large blank spaces, where articles censored by the military would have been placed.

The Fiji Times announced on 5 December 2006, in the wake of the overthrow of the civilian government by the military, that it was suspending publication rather than bow to government censorship.[6] Military officers had visited the premises that evening to prohibit the publication of any "propaganda" in support of the deposed government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. The online edition would be continuing publication as normal, however. Just before midday on 6 December, the military granted permission for the Times to resume publication without censorship.[7]

The Times reported on 9 December that two members of the public had been detained and questioned by the Military over letters they had written to the Times editor during the week, and were given a "verbal warning."[8]

Nonetheless, from December 2006 to April 2009, the Times was able to publish continuously articles critical of the interim government. The latter voiced its displeasure, but did not impose censorship. Following the 2009 Fijian constitutional crisis, however, all Fiji's media were censored, including the Fiji Times. Censors are present in the paper's newsrooms. The newspaper's chief editor Netani Rika told Radio New Zealand International that "his journalists continue to cover every story in detail as if they were working in a democratic country without restrictions. And he says they challenge the censors by putting every possible news item before them."[9] The website of the Fiji Times has also been censored since April 2009.

Criticism[edit]

The Fiji Labour Party was once highly critical of the Fiji Times, accusing it of political bias. In July 2008, the party published a report alleging that the Fiji Times had collaborated with others in a deliberate effort to unseat the 1999/2000 Labour-led government.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Motibhai Group Companies", Motibhai, Suva, retrieved 2017-11-29
  2. ^ "Fiji Times", Motibhai, Suva, retrieved 2017-11-29
  3. ^ "Profile", LinkedIn, retrieved 2017-11-29
  4. ^ "Contact Page", Motibhai, Suva, retrieved 2017-11-29
  5. ^ "Hank Arts Chosen as Next Fiji Times Publisher". Radio New Zealand. Wellington. 2 November 2011. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  6. ^ "Fiji Times shuts under censorship threat". Fiji Times. Wellington. 6 December 2006. Archived from the original on 13 January 2009. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  7. ^ "Fiji Times allowed to resume publication". Fiji Times Online. Suva. 6 December 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-13.
  8. ^ "Fiji Times contributors warned by army". Fiji Times. Suva. 9 December 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-13.
  9. ^ "At whim of censors, Fiji Times strives to maintain journalism standards". Radio New Zealand International. Wellington. 7 May 2009.
  10. ^ "FLP Activities report 2008". Fiji Labour Party. 23 July 2008. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 2017-08-07.

External links[edit]