9 Nov 2010

Vanuatu media row over radio licence application

6:23 pm on 9 November 2010

The publisher of the Vanuatu Daily Post says he believes a row has erupted between him and rival media figures because he poses a threat to them.

Marc Neil-Jones, who is a naturalised Vanuatu citizen, applied for an FM radio licence about seven months ago and says when the local FM 107 station found out, objections were raised.

Mr Neil-Jones says the chair of the Media Association, Evelyn Toa, is using the Vanuatu Times newspaper to apply pressure on the government to make media ownership a reserved industry for indigenous ni-Vanuatu only.

He says he is being attacked because he's seen as a threat in the industry.

"We have a very successful daily newspaper. It's just they're worried about competition. And I'm surprised because the owner of FM 107 is a very good businessman and they have a very good radio station. And it's not going to be easy to launch a new radio station."

Marc Neil-Jones says the Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation will decide whether to grant him the radio licence.