9 Apr 2010

Fiji media call to soften penalties in proposed Media Decree

12:31 pm on 9 April 2010

The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation's News Director says proposed fines in the draft Media Decree could put most media organisations in the country out of business.

The breaching of proposed content regulations could lead to organisations being fined up to half a million Fiji dollars or fines of up to 100,000 Fiji dollars and up to five years in jail for publishers, editors or journalists.

Stanley Simpson says they are urging the government to make the fines and imprisonment provisions less harsh.

He says they've made it clear to the Attorney General their concern that the Decree's provisions could be misused against media outlets in future.

"They may be well intentioned now but what will it be like in the future in an environment where there are political parties involved? How it could be used by governments or opposition parties at the time to get at the media and basically frustrate us or divert us from reporting in the public interests."

Stanley Simpson