Editorial comment – Challenge to be fair, balanced

Fijian Elections Office pre-polling teams for the Eastern Division at the Government Shipyard with their luggage before departing Suva earlier this morning. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

AS election campaigns rise in tempo, we each have an opportunity to lap up the massive flow of information from the various political parties.

The target by parties is obviously to get their message through to the masses.

It will be about disseminating the message they hope will encourage voters to choose them.

The fact that we have so many undecided voters, 22 per cent, and 10 per cent who did not give an answer on their choice of political parties, will drive the contesting parties.

They will be keen to woo the voters across.

They will be targeting voters who have not made up their minds yet and hope the percentages prop them up come November 14.

The Tebbutt-Times Poll has revealed that The Fiji Times newspaper and its website remains a dominant source for people seeking information on the elections.

The Tebbutt-Times Poll conducted between October 21–24 had asked the public for their views on their main source of information regarding elections, political parties and candidates.

For those getting their election information from printed newspapers, 78 per cent claimed their main newspaper was The Fiji Times.

Today we acknowledge you the reader for having confidence in The Fiji Times brand.

For those getting their election information from an online news website, 47 per cent claimed Fiji Times Online was their preferred website.

According to the poll, 73 per cent of the people get election information from TV, and 30 per cent named this medium as their main source.

Radio is an information source for 68 per cent of those polled, and the main source for 24 per cent.

The poll also showed that social media is becoming an important source of information for people seeking election-related information.

Interestingly, those in the Northern and Eastern divisions have radio in the top spot at 83 per cent, while for the Central and Western divisions, TV is in the top spot at 75 per cent and 73 per cent respectively. We acknowledge the fact that readers look up to us for information.

This is why our challenge is to be fair and balanced in what we write about daily.

As we inch closer to the date of the national elections, we realise it is a massive responsibility that must come from within us first as responsible journalists.

We say thank you to you the reader for having faith and confidence in us.

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