5 May 2020

Fiji media "victims of govt intimidation"- RSF

6:17 pm on 5 May 2020

A report on the world's freedom of the press says the media in Fiji remains "victims of government intimidation".

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Photo: 123RF

The yearly report was released to coincide with this week's World Press Freedom Day.

Released by Reporters Without Borders, it ranked Fiji 52nd out of 179 countries.

It said Fiji operated under the 2010 Media Industry Development Decree, which became law in 2018.

The report also ranked Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Tonga ahead of Fiji.

RSF said the sedition laws in Fiji, with penalties of up to seven years in prison, were also used to foster a climate of fear and self-censorship.

"Sedition charges put the lives of three journalists with The Fiji Times, the leading daily, on hold until they were finally acquitted in 2018," the report stated.

"Many observers believed it was the price the newspaper paid for its independence."

Last year Fiji was also ranked at 52 but was 57th in 2018.

The Fiji Media Industry Development Authority did not respond to a request for comment.