21 May 2003

Media in Fiji told it is juvenile and needs Government regulation

4:13 pm on 21 May 2003

The chairman of the Fiji Trade and Investment Board has told the government the country's media is juvenile.

Joe Singh made the comment when making submissions on the government's fiercely criticised Media Bill.

Mr Singh, who served as a member of the former interim adminstration's illegal constitution review commission, says the Fiji media industry is immature and cannot regulate itself.

He says the government is the elected authority in place and it must legislate for the media by proceeding with its Media Bill.

Mr Singh says the current independent Media Council is a toothless tiger which has failed to carry out its role.

Mr Singh says journalists have been stealing information and lifting confidential documents out of files, which he says, cannot be tolerated.

The proposed Media Bill is under very strong criticism from the industry, political parties, NGOs, religious organisations and in letters to newspapers, for seeking tto impose government control on the media.