SUVA (Pacnews): The Fiji Trauma Recovery Team has hit out at a recent Fiji Times report suggesting it had declared last
year’s parliamentary hostages unfit to lead the country, Pacnews reports.
The story purported to quote a report by the team’s chairman, Father Makario, saying that the hostages had not received
adequate psychological debriefing after their release and as a result "may not be fit to lead the country again".
In a statement released today, the Trauma Recovery Team said the report had never been released to the media and had
been taken out of context by the Fiji Times.
"In the report, Father Makario did raise his concerns regarding the fact that some of the political hostages did not
receive psychological debriefing directly following their release and that this could have possibly affected their
ability to function as leaders immediately afterwards. The report does not state that the political hostages are at
present ‘unfit to lead’. Nor does it claim they ‘may not be fit to lead the country again’ as is stated in the Fiji
Times," said Dr Shish Narayan in the statement.
The statement also points out that the report was completed in August last year. The Fiji Times story ran a few weeks
ago and made no mention of the date of the report.
Nobody at the newspaper was available for comment.
Fiji Media Watch has also condemned the Fiji Times. Coordinator Swasti Chand told PACNEWS, "that the Fiji Times is
responsible for speculating on certain sections of the reports to suit its own agenda. We deplore the action of the
"It was unethical of the newspaper to run the story, which undermined the calibre of the professional people who served
on the trauma team," Chand wrote. "The team, as the whole nation is aware, gave its dedicated services in a highly
ethical and principled manner.
"While we agree that the role of the media is to report the facts to the public, we also demand that the stories are
accurate and balanced. It is the absolute duty of the editor and the editor-in-chief to oversee what is being offered to
the consumers of the media. [The story] reflects poor journalism standards and practices (which) are unethical, given
the political arena."…PNS
PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE: http://www.pmw.c2o.org