5 Sep 2012

Fiji regime says journalists should stop self censoring

4:29 pm on 5 September 2012

Fiji's interim government has told journalists in Fiji to stop self-censoring and start reporting the facts.

The Permanent Secretary of Information Sharon Smith Johns has urged journalists not to use fear as an excuse for not doing their job.

She was speaking at the opening of a conference on media and democracy at the University of the South Pacific in Suva.

Ms Smith Johns says the interim government wants a vigorous media but with certain conditions like not fuelling racial division which are a prerequisite in most countries.

She acknowledged some in the audience might have a jaundiced view about the government's attitude to media freedom but said Fiji as a country was a work in progress.

The regime lifted official media censorship at the beginning of the year but journalists in Fiji still operate under a decree which imposes the threat of heavy fines or imprisonment.