But sources close to MIDA claim that it was Makereta Komai, the editor of PACNEWS, regional news agency covering the Pacific region, who triggered the attack on Dorney, after reportedly informing Akauola that Dorney had expressed negative comments against PINA. Akauola, along with Raj, went ballistic, with our sister pro-democracy blog C4/5 reporting that Raj called Dorney “two faced” and a “scavenger” while Akauola pointed his finger and said “you are not ever coming back to Fiji”.
Dorney is barred from Fiji.
The two have taken this to the ridiculous extreme where MIDA is now refusing to have anything to do with the ABC unless Dorney and the ABC Managing Director apologise.
The ABC is standing by Dorney's reporting and so Akauola and Raj have cut off all relations with the ABC and the AusAID funded PACMAS program which is aimed at helping the media throughout the Pacific. Fijileaks has not been able to obtain comments from MIDA, Komai and Dorney.
STATEMENT ON POSTPONEMENT OF DIGITAL MEDIA TRAINING IN FIJI
Secretary-General, the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association, Sally-Ann Wilson writes:
"We are very sorry to announce that the second Phase of the CBA PACMAS Digital Media Training Project, scheduled for Fiji in April, has been postponed.
At present, PACMAS are not currently able to operate projects in Fiji for the following reasons:
The Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) of Fiji recently wrote to the Managing Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation lodging a complaint about the conduct of one of its staff members during a recent conference in Noumea. As a consequence of the allegations made by MIDA and the authority they carry in Fiji, its Chairman Ashwin Raj and CEO, Matai Akauola have suspended all collaboration with the ABC and PACMAS at this time.
PACMAS staff have been endeavouring to have MIDA separate it’s grievance with the ABC staff member from that of PACMAS but have not been successful so far. Consequently, we are at a point where we have no choice but to postpone the CBA PACMAS workshop until such time we may be granted permission by MIDA.
This is an unfortunate situation and one that is clearly beyond the control of all the stakeholders involved.
It is disappointing that we are not able to proceed with what was promising to be a great workshop and that we are now unable to deliver the program to delegates in Fiji.
PACMAS has proposed that we try to bring forward the next phase of the workshop which is likely to take place elsewhere in the Pacific; we hope this will soon be confirmed for later in the year.
Once again, we understand that this must be both disappointing and inconvenient to all applicants and interested parties. "
- See more at: http://www.pacmas.org/profile/cba-pacmas-digital-media-training-project-postponed/#sthash.1l2TUTlB.dpuf
WHAT WAS ON OFFER: DIGITAL MEDIA COURSE
The intensive documentary filmmaking and digital media course will take place in Fiji from the 3 to 12 April 2014. Training will follow a unique template and will have additional emphasis on new and social media and is designed to build and enhance the capacity and capability of a new generation of digital content producers in the Pacific.
During the course the trainees will be given training in narrative documentary filmmaking, and introduction to the lastest global innovations by digital content makers, hands on technical workshops with the latest equipment, skills training to include linking of broadcast content to social/new media outreach for citizen interaction and engagement.
The course is being offered, free of charge, to selected participants from Tahiti, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea who are currently residing in Fiji.
This project is a partnership between the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme, funded by the the Australian Government’s aid program and managed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association.