Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Imprisonment and Heavy Fines Sanctioned in New Fiji Decree


As expected the interim government is proposing a Media Industry Development Authority, saying it's needed to ensure high standards of performance and to ensure that material which is against public interest or order are not broadcast or publicised.

All material must also carry a byline with news organisations facing a fine of up to half a million Fiji dollars or a fine of up to $100,000 Fijian dollars if the code is breached.

The decree also paves the way for publishers, editors and journalists to be jailed for up to five years for breaches.

As predicted, a tribunal would be established to hear compalints from the public, public officers or Cabinet Ministers.

Media organisations would need to be registered and require 90 per cent ownership by a Fijian citizen. Cross media ownership will also be monitored with a five per cent non-voting interest only, allowed in any other media organisation.

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