SHYMAL KUMAR AGAINST RNZ

Case Number: 2979

Council Meeting: DECEMBER 2020

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: Radio NZ

Ruling Categories: Bias

Overview

On November 6 RNZ published an article Call for Fiji’s AG to Step down. The article reported that former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry had said the Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum should step down while police continued investigations into his alleged involvement in a bombing incident 30 years ago. This would ensure a “credible investigation”. Mr Chaudhry also called on police to complete their investigations because the case was more than four months old.

On November 27 RNZ published an article Fiji’s main opposition party chooses a new leader. The article reported that Fiji’s Social Democratic Liberal party had appointed Viliame Gavoka as leader of the party. The focus was now on the 2022 general election.

Shymal Kumar complained that these articles demonstrated biased reporting from RNZ on issues in Fiji. “They always hide good things that our government does and always give biased and one-sided news about our government.” he said.

The Media Council views the articles complained of as straightforward orthodox reporting. It is in the public interest that such matters are reported. Newspapers report news, and if the news is bad then that is what they report.

As it happens the travel sections of publications frequently say very positive things about Fiji.

Finding: Insufficient Grounds to Proceed.