10 Feb 2012

Fiji media warned against publishing slander

11:36 am on 10 February 2012

The Fiji Labour Party leader is warning the media against unethical practice, saying they shouldn't be threatened into publishing slander.

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

But Mahendra Chaudhry says the new decree means no one can legally challenge defamatory public statements by those currently in power.

He says despite old restrictions being apparently lifted, media outlets still have a threat hanging over them and it's now up to them to publish responsibly.

"It's clearly unethical that people want protection from slandering and without them having any recourse to seek redress. I don't think the media should get involved in this at all. I think the media should not publish or print anything that they wouldn't in normal circumstances do."