Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has asked Fiji Times managing director Anne Fussall to explain what she meant by her comments in the Sunday Times that the decree would affect the Fiji economy.
Fussall said the Media Industry Development Decree could hurt investment and government streams such as income tax and Value Added Tax.
Sayed-Khaiyum said Fussall’s statements appeared to be a “veiled threat” against the government.
He said that after years of negative reporting, the newspaper seemed to be suddenly concerned about the economy.
He said the newspaper refused to recognise the government and refused to call Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama, the Prime Minister.
Fussall said the decree would impact on the quality of information the people of Fiji would be able to access.
“It could also impact on potential investment and on revenue streams which flow on to the Fiji community through areas like income tax and VAT.”
media decree released
April 07, 2010 05:51:15 PMA+ A-| || A draft media decree released in Fiji today contains strong penalties, requires media organisations to be 90 percent locally-owned and gives a regulatory authority powers to be able to demand documents or information.
The measures are among a wide range of provisions aimed at emphasising fair, accurate and responsible reporting.
The Media Industry Development Decree was unveiled at a government-organised consultation in Suva today.
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum chaired the discussion attended by 50 representatives of media organisations, non-government organisations and special interest groups.
The document contains provisions on content regulation requiring all printed material to carry the author’s name. Similar provisions apply to broadcast material where possible.
Breaching the proposed content regulations could make organisations liable to a fine of $500,000 or a fine of up to $100,000 and up to five years in jail for publishers, editors or journalists.
The consultation heard requests that organisations be held liable for the fines instead of individuals.
A Media Industry Development Authority will have powers to carry out investigations if it believes that any provisions of the decree or any media code has been infringed.
It will also have powers to demand documents and information.
The decree also specifies that at least 90 percent of a media organisation must be owned by Fiji citizens living in Fiji for five out of the last seven years prior to the organisation being registered and thereafter, living in Fiji for at least nine out of 12 months a year.
Fiji Times managing director Anne Fussall was not available for comment on how the provisions would affect the News Ltd owned newspaper.
A second round of consultations will be held in Lautoka tomorrow.
Much ado about nothing it seems, as the paranoid illegal, irrelevant ag feels threatened (aw shucks) about everyone, everything and anything that moves.
The koli ni kaidia completely embedded in his junglee dna is on show for all to witness exactly how illegal and irrelevant he and his hero the illegal and irrelevant oink and their coupsters really are.
Reasons for the OTT paranoia is because they are very well aware that they are as illegal and irrelevant as the onerous decrees being churned out to try to keep us marginalised.
Irrationality is rampant within the illegal regime, why, because they just cannot agree to disagree.
The illegal, irrelevant ag like his hero the illegal irrelevant oink cannot abide the slightest hint of disagreement or opinion about the regime that is losing its tenuous grip daily.
More indecent decrees to disguise the illegal regimes monumental stuff up that was the 5.12.06 coup.