2 Jul 2010

Exiled Fiji group views media decree as tool to close Fiji Times

12:37 pm on 2 July 2010

An Australian-based Fiji democracy group says Fiji's new media decree is a thinly veiled attempt to get rid of the Fiji Times.

A condition in the decree limits foreign ownership of media outlets to ten percent.

That means the Australian-owned Fiji Times newspaper has three months to transfer most of its shares to Fiji owners or face closure.

The President of the Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement, Usaia Waqatairewa says the interim government wants to throw out the paper because it does not like its reporting style

"Because they have been critical of the Fiji Times way of reporting things, just because they have been reporting the truth. It has included the firebombing of the editor, Netani Rika's house, the smashing of his car windows and they deported two newspaper publishers of the Fiji Times, expatriate newspaper publishers."

Usaia Waqatairewa says creating a decree, which could see foreign media outlets thrown out if they oppose the regime, will deter foreign investors in other areas such as tourism.