9 Apr 2010

Fiji media alarmed at proposed fines in Media Decree

3:34 pm on 9 April 2010

The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation's News Director has raised concern at how local media outlets will be affected by what he sees as extreme provisions in the draft Media Decree.

Stanley Simpson says the FBC is concerned about the independence of the Media Development Authority and the ultimate power of the Media Tribunal as outlined in the Decree, and especially provisions for fines and imprisonment.

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.

Mr Simpson says it is hoped the government takes media concerns over these punishments on board.

"We're urging - I think from some sections of our newsroom the word would be begging - not to make especially those fines and the imprisonment, not to make it too harsh. Some of those fines could easily write off most if not all of the media organisations if they were imposed."

Stanley Simpson