Friday, January 22, 2010

Fiji Media Muzzled Under Decree

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, January 22, 2010

A new Media Decree to be introduced by the Fiji government will see more emphasis on responsible reporting says the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.

Bainimarama says consultations on the decree will be held soon, and government wants to hear from the media how they will contribute to the nation’s progress.

“The government is now about to consult stakeholders in regards to the media decree. We want to hear from them especially on how they intend to help the nation move forward from here on and as I’ve stated on numerous occasions before the decree will take place, greater emphasis on responsible reporting. This is what the media in Fiji have been consciously ignoring especially in the last two decades.”

Bainimarama claims the Fiji media has contributed to political unrest in the country by supporting political agendas.

“It has helped them increase their broader mind but at the same time contribute to the nations socio political unrest by promoting certain political ideologies and philosophies that have only proven to cause disunity and upheaval.”

The PM says the media will have to re-examine how they do their reporting.

“The media decree will importantly encourage the media to re-look at their editorial policies and the contents of their articles and their stories and their television programs.”

Bainimarama also says the Decree will bring more professionalism to the media industry.

“We want to modernize but our modernization must be in the context of our culture and traditions, respect for all ethnicities and great religious tolerance and so on. The media decree will among other things bring greater focus on professionalism and raising the standard of journalism in the country. That’s what we hope the media decree will do.”

Consultations on the decree is expected to take place soon, but the Fiji Times and Fiji Television Ltd have been banned from the Consultations unless they write to the government to be included.

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