2 Jul 2010

Fiji leader says media decree response positive

5:13 pm on 2 July 2010

Fiji's interim Prime Minister says media outlets and the business community have responded positively to the media decree.

There's been criticism that the decree's requirement that foreign ownership of media companies be limited to 10 percent could scare off foreign investors in other industries.

The requirement could also force the closure of the Australian-owned Fiji Times.

But Commodore Frank Bainimarama says that's for the newspaper to decide, and other countries also have laws on foreign media ownership.

He told Auckland-based Radio Tarana the new decree will have a positive effect on access to accurate information

"Fiji has a vibrant and growing media industry in print, broadcasting and the new media, with lots of potential for investment. Currently we have fourteen plus media outlets, not including internet. While the Fiji Times claims to be a vital source of independent news, so are the other media outlets."

Commodore Bainimarama says the decree will also have a positive impact on the economy, human rights and governance.