Media personnel wanting to cover Parliament proceedings during sitting days will now have the luxury of using the press gallery in the Chamber following its official launch this morning.
While launching the gallery, Speaker Hon. Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said the initiative acknowledged the unique and important relationship between Parliament and the media.
The Government of China funded the project which was one of the wishes of the late Speaker, Dr Jiko Luveni.
“The launching of the media gallery today is not an isolated development but part of Parliament’s broader initiative under its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan to increase citizen awareness and engagement of Parliament and its parliamentary processes,” Hon. Ratu Epeli said.
“In 2017, after a lapse of several years, Parliament continued with the recording and broadcasting of parliamentary proceedings keeping up with the global trend of opening up Parliament sessions to the media, which is the norm, particularly in most Commonwealth countries. There is also work in progress to record and broadcast committee meetings to the media as this is where much of the parliamentary work is done.
“The Parliament and media, though independent in any democracy, are complementary in their activities and effects – neither can do without the other. They are in this sense, collaborators in the same cause – the cause of enlightenment and good governance for the benefit of all citizens.”
Hon. Ratu Epeli hoped that the launch of the media gallery would signify a new journey and mutual understanding between Parliament and the media and that it would substantially contribute to the cause of good governance for the benefit of the people of Fiji.
China’s Ambassador to Fiji, His Excellency Mr Qian Bo said they were pleased to extend their assistance to the Parliament of Fiji, adding it was part of their continued support to Fiji.
Acting Secretary-General to Parliament Mrs Viniana Namosimalua said the initiative was part of their journey of reaching out to members of the public, civil society groups and the wider community through the media.
Meanwhile, Fijian Media Association General-Secretary Stanley Simpson thanked Parliament, saying that this would allow Journalists to do their work much more effectively for the benefit of the people of Fiji.