13 Jul 2015

PFF calls for time out on Vanuatu media law

3:21 pm on 13 July 2015

The Pacific Freedom Forum says one week is not enough for consultation on Vanuatu's proposed regulatory media law.

Media and the public in Port Vila have been under-fire from government for airing strongly worded public views on talk-back radio and on social media in recent weeks.

This has led to the new government's decision to implement regulatory media legislation.

PFF editor Jason Brown says a draft copy of the new law is reportedly being provided to media outlets this week ahead of the bill's proposed enactment next week.

Mr Brown says this is such a short time for consultation on an important piece of legislation that it could affect freedom of speech in Vanuatu.

"We would be really pleased if the government of Vanuatu would reach out and talk with media bodies and give more time for the consultations to take place and to hear other points of view about the worth of having robust views from members of the public."

Jason Brown says Vanuatu should look for guidance from countries like Samoa where new media laws have been under consideration for two years.

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Photo: RNZ / Walter Zweifel