Tuesday, July 20, 2010

'Pirates' could break Fiji's news blackout

From: The Australian July 20, 2010 

EXILED Fiji activists plan to operate a pirate radio station from international waters near Fiji to broadcast "the truth" about the country.

Usaia Waqatairewa, the president of the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement, who is based in Sydney, said he was discussing arrangements with a Dutch group that owns a ship equipped for broadcasting.

Mr Waqatairewa, a former deputy director of the Fiji Human Rights Commission, said the movement had started considering alternative ways to communicate news to Fiji after the military regime issued a decree against the media last month.

The decree entrenches restrictions on journalists and is designed to force the closure or sale of the leading daily newspaper, the Fiji Times (owned by News Limited, also owner of The Australian).

Mr Waqatairewa said: "Every household on Fiji's 300 islands has a radio. Our aim would be to send . . . proper journalism rather than a twisted version of it."

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