The Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) and the Fijian Media Association (FMA) yesterday slammed a social media attack against a senior local journalist.
Individuals have also hit back online against the perpetrator. A person using a fake address posted a picture of the managing editor News of the Fiji Sun, Jyoti Pratibha’s infant son with derogatory remarks.
MIDA’s chairman Ashwin Raj said: “The fact that political detractors have descended to such a new low where they resort to posting intimate details of the personal lives of those that they don’t agree with politically simply shows that these people are incapable of exercising reason and holding robust public debates.”
FMA’s general secretary Stanley Simpson said the association strongly condemned any act of harassment and intimidation against journalists while carrying out their work.
Mr Raj said: “The fact that political detractors have descended to such a new low where they resort to posting intimate details of the personal lives of those that they don’t agree with politically simply shows that these people are incapable of exercising reason and holding robust public debates.
“They hide behind the shroud of anonymity. As soon as they realise that they have bitten more than they can chew on a complex subject matter and can no longer sustain an argument based on reason, their grandiose ideas and principles go out the window and they quickly descend to personal vilification.
“One almost feels a sense of pity for them,” Mr Raj said.
Mr Simpson said: “It is even worse and totally unacceptable when innocent family members of journalists are unfairly targeted in any forum, including social media.”
Mr Simpson said that “children in particular should be off-limits.
“The public must be reminded that it is unlawful to try to stop journalists from carrying out their legitimate duty,” he said.
SODELPA general secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi has reiterated that the party has a social media policy and all members must comply with it.
Adi Litia responded to questions being raised on the party’s policy as a post on Facebooks Fiji Exposed Forum showed a picture of Fiji Sun’s Managing Editor News Jyoti Pratibha’s infant son being used.
However, later in the day the post had stated that this was a REVENGE for Ms Pratibha’s recent articles of SODELPA member Ezikiel Sharma.
Adi Litia said she was not a social media person and could not comment further on the matter.