19 Jan 2015

NFP calls for Fiji media law repeal

8:59 am on 19 January 2015

The leader of Fiji's opposition National Federation Party says the country's media decree is creating an envioronment of self-censorship and needs to be repealed now the country is a democracy.

Biman Prasad says the decree and the statutory body set up to enforce its provisions, the Media Industry Development Authority, is regressive and suppresses media freedom in the country.

The leader of Fiji's National Federation Party, Biman Prasad

National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad Photo: RNZI

Dr Prasad says provisions such as the requirement for balance are being used as a tactic by the government to shut down negative stories.

"When you talk about balance, what is happening essentially is that when opposition parties or anybody critical of government puts out a statement or comment, then the media is required to go to the government and get their response.

Biman Prasad says if the government decides not to give a response then the story does not get published.

The chair of the Media Industry Development Authority, Ashwin Raj, has told FBC that the decree will stay, and there is no circumstance where the Fiji media will be allowed to run unregulated.