9 Feb 2012

Fiji journalists said to be querying regime's agenda with new decree

11:20 am on 9 February 2012

A member of the Pacific media watchdog, Pacific Freedom Forum, says journalists in Fiji are raising questions about how they can provide balanced reporting under the regime's new decree.

The Fiji interim government says its State Proceedings Amendment Decree will restore a level playing field and protect media outlets during the lead-up to parliamentary polls promised in 2014.

The new rules give legal immunity to the media, the interim prime minister and his cabinet for any statements the regime members make and it says the decree is consistent with parliamentary privilege.

Lisa Williams-Lahari says journalists in Fiji are just waiting for more information but social networking sites have been busy.

"What is the agenda driving it? What exactly will it do, given that parliamentary privilege is something that's quite separate from what's planned, or how the regime is selling this one. It's really got nothing to do with parliament and very little to do with privilege."

The interim government has been unavailable for comment.