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SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 6, 2000 – Radio Australia)---The Fiji government has expressed concern over the pay and working conditions in the media industry.

While opening a media workshop in Nadi, Assistant Information Minister Lekh Ram Vayeshnoi said media owners should support the Fiji Islands Media Association.

He said there had been a lack of cooperation between the Association and media owners in addressing the training and welfare of journalists:

"It is not unusual for some journalists to work 16 to 18 hours and travel long distances on weekends

"Some are being paid F$ 4,000 to F$ 5,000 (US$ 1,950 and US$ 2,437) per annum, well below the starting salary of their counterparts in the civil service or even garment workers for that matter," Mr. Vayeshnoi said.



SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 5, 2000 – Pacific Media Watch/Radio Pasifik, Pasifik Nius/Niuswire)---Radio Pasifik, the University of the South Pacific’s student FM station, will not close down, according to the station’s news broadcasts today.

The radio quoted Melissa Koster, president of the Lusman Association, an affiliate of the USP Students Association, as saying that a student council meeting last night decided that the radio station would keep broadcasting.

She told the radio that the council voted to pay a F$12,000 (US$ 5,850) debt to the USP Media Center to fund running the station.

The center manages the four-year-old station on behalf of the students.

Ms. Koster said council members had spoken out in favor of keeping the radio open after the USP executive faced controversy over media reports of their moves to pull out of broadcasting.

According to Radio Pasifik, the station had "been under a cloud" over its future and a front-page report in this week’s journalism training newspaper Wansolwara had said the station’s future was "in limbo."

The newspaper’s editor had challenged USPSA president Veresi Bainivualiku, a former radio journalist, for "answers please" over Radio Pasifik and a campus budget controversy involving F$ 27,000 (US$ 13,162).

"What is the cost cutting for and why the need for it all of a sudden?" the editorial asked.

"Just three weeks ago, (Bainivualiku) told Wansolwara he was enthusiastic about improving Radio Pasifik. A week later, the association secretary circulated a letter announcing that the "new officers" wanted to relinquish ties with Radio Pasifik.

"And the president failed to turn up at a subsequent meeting called by the USPSA to discuss Radio Pasifik."

It is believed that the Media Center and the journalism program are mooting plans to broadcast regionally through the university’s new F$ 13 million (US$ 6.337 million) 12-nation telecommunications system, USPNet 2000.

Title -- 2639 FIJI: Radio Pasifik to stay open Date -- 5 April 2000 Byline – None Origin -- Pacific Media Watch Source -- Radio Pasifik, University of the South Pacific, 5/4/00 Copyright -- Radio Pasifik Status -- Unabridged

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