13 Oct 2017

Tonga broadcasting chair defends moving journalists

1:20 pm on 13 October 2017

The chair of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission says the state broadcaster was in danger of shutting down so needed to be restructured.

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Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

Earlier Tu'i Uata began his tenure by moving two of the TBC's most experienced journalists out of the newsroom and into the marketing department.

Both journalists had had run-ins this year with prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva who called the TBC an enemy of government because of its critical coverage.

However Dr Uata told Kaniva News that change had to occur as the TBC faced being shut down within two months because it was running at a loss.

He blamed the situation on the way the news was created saying the problem was the content was not popular.

Dr Uata said according to the law the TBC is under, if the organisation was not financially viable or could not perform than there was a ground for dismissal.

When asked why the news manager and editor were moved out of the newsroom he said their expertise should bring in revenues and not cause a loss to people's tax money.

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