NEWSPAPER publisher News Limited could be forced to withdraw from Fiji after the military-led regime issued a draft decree effectively banning foreign ownership of media companies.
News Limited’s Fiji Times, which employs more than 170 people and a further 1000 indirectly, is facing closure under new rules that require media companies to be at least 90 per cent owned by Fiji citizens.
Already there is a ban in Fiji on “negative reporting”, media companies operate under strict military censorship, journalists have been interrogated and the Fiji Times has had two of its managing directors deported under the military rule imposed after Commodore Frank Bainimarama seized power in a December 2006 coup.
In a statement yesterday, News Limited chief executive John Hartigan said News, also publisher of The Australian, was “very concerned” about the media decree “to retrospectively limit foreign ownership of media to 10 per cent . . . We have made representation to the Fijian authority to find a way to resolve the issues and are awaiting the outcome of those representations.”
Mr Hartigan warned that the decree “raised some important commercial issues for the Fiji Times that need very careful consideration”.
Fiji’s Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said the decree would establish a media code of standards in ethics and practice while emphasising “fair, accurate and responsible reporting”.
The decree would also establish a media industry development authority to monitor compliance with the code.
Geoff Elliott From: The Australian April 08, 2010
Nothing new about the thin skinned illegal regime puppets, so quick to take offense at the slightest hint of an intelligent opinion.
One has to be tough, dude, to survive in any political arena and criticism is a by product of politics.
Try telling that to the illegal regime puppets and one is blamed for all their ills and banished.
A point that the illegal regime puppets need to adhere to is that they must first learn not to leave skid marks on their supotas before embarking on the herculean task of governing. Achar!
Our own very Fiji version of reporting will still be in place, from the no leqa coconut wireless to whiz bang wireless broadband.
Nice na soqo.