24 Apr 2014

MIDA defends decision to censure Fiji TV for 'hate speech'

5:11 pm on 24 April 2014

The chairman of the Media Industry Development Authority in Fiji has defended his decision to censure Fiji TV for broadcasting so-called hate speech.

Earlier this month MIDA ruled Fiji TV had breached the constitution and Media Decree for airing certain comments by a provincial chief during a visit by the regime leader.

The chief, Ratu Timoci Vesikula, is reported to have made remarks around Rear Admiral Frank Bainimarama's stance on indigenous matters.

The Media Authority's chairman, Ashwin Raj, says it's in his remit to intervene.

"Because of the timeliness of it, and the seriousness of it, in the sense that we are approaching national elections and if that is going to be the tenor of public discourse then I've got a problem and if I don't say anything about it, then I'm obviously sleeping on the job because these things have a tendency to do an irreparable amount of damage."

Ashwin Raj says the media should be free to do its work but exercise reason and follow the media code of ethics.