11 Nov 2010

Vanuatu government cool over media ownership row

4:28 pm on 11 November 2010

The Vanuatu Government says it is not taking action over a row that has erupted between rival media figures over the head of the Vanuatu Daily Post applying for an FM radio licence.

The Daily Post Managing Director and Publisher Marc Neil-Jones, who is a naturalised citizen, has applied for an FM radio licence and says the local FM 107 station and the Vanuatu Times newspaper are objecting.

The President of the Media Association blong Vanuatu Evelyn Toa, says she has been asking the government for a long time to reserve the media industry for the indigenous ni-Vanuatu people.

A government spokesman George Pakoa Tarimanu says the government has not received any requests by the Media Association and is not moved by the debate.

"Under the constitution of Vanuatu, when you become a citizen you have equal rights like any other indigenous person. Unless there is an argument that requires arbitration, we're not taking any action at the moment."

George Pakoa Tarimanu says both foreign and local applications for radio licences are treated the same.