1 May 2008

Fiji interim leader attacks media on eve of World Media Freedom Day

7:30 pm on 1 May 2008

Fiji's interim Prime Minister has warned the country's media that it is getting close to the point where the current system of self regulation needs to be seen as a failure.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama has used this weekend's World Media Freedom Day to thank the local media for its work.

But he says since its appointment, the Interim Government's relationship with the media has been fraught with tension and difficulties.

Frank Bainimarama says while media freedom is guaranteed under the Constitution, it must be exercised carefully in ensuring that Fiji's citizens are informed in a balanced, accurate and truthful manner.

He says much of the mainstream media falls far short of this responsibility on issues that are of vital importance to Fiji and its future, such as the work of the National Council for Building a Better Fiji.

The Commodore says he is puzzled as to why low standards of reporting are allowed to continue unchecked by the Media Council of Fiji.