8 May 2017

Concerns raised with Tongan king over media issues

3:19 pm on 8 May 2017

The world's largest association of public broadcasters has written to the King of Tonga to express its concern over changes to the Tonga Broadcasting Commission.

radio mic

Photo: RNZ

This month the government forced the public broadcaster's chair to resign and asked the board to sack the general manager.

The Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva had earlier complained the broadcaster did not support government enough and was unfairly critical.

However the president of the Public Media Alliance, Paul Thompson, said a public service broadcaster was all about protecting the interests of citizens and acting independently of the state and the government.

"And I think the prime minister's targeting of the commission and the personnel at the commission is unfortunate. As the president of the Public Media Alliance I really call on everyone to take a breath and just make sure that they protect and enhance the editorial independence of the broadcaster."

Mr Thompson said the PMA had earlier written to Mr Pohiva about their concerns.

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