8 Mar 2004

Cook Islands Media Association concerned over government moves to monitor media

2:34 pm on 8 March 2004

The Cook Islands Media Association says it is concerned that the government could attempt to control the media after it announced the setting up of a press council and a broadcasting corporation.

The association's president, Flo Syme-Buchanan, says they have not been consulted by the government over the moves.

And, she says nor were they asked for any input over the proposals which have been approved by cabinet.

Ms Buchanan says they do support the setting up of a press council if it is independent but are uncertain about the government's plans for a corporation.

"We would like to be assured by government that a broadcasting corporation would not be set up to control the media - to monitor the media certainly, to ensure that standards are kept. And, you know, there have been concerns about the standards in the past but as long as it's something set up to monitor the media but not to control the media."

Flo Syme-Buchanan says they will present some written recommendations to the broadcasting minister on the formation of a press council.

And, she says the association will call on the government to implement a freedom of media act if the proposals to monitor the media go ahead.