24 May 2003

Fiji Media council says existing laws sufficient to regulate the media

8:35 am on 24 May 2003

The Fiji Media Council says laws already exist in the country to regulate the media and the government should hold back from enacting its proposed media bill.

The council chairman, Daryl Tarte, says these include the Penal code, the Defamation act, Telecommunications act, Public Order act, Public Safety act and the Public Health act.

Mr Tarte made the point in submissions to the government opposing the proposed Media Bill which gives the minister for information substantial powers over the media.

He says instead of bringing in the media bill, the government should work in partnership with the current independent Media Council to improve journalism standards.

Mr Tarte says Fiji's constitution, current laws, the code of conduct of the current council and the universal declaration of Human Rights are sufficient to serve the nation well.