7 Apr 2010

Fiji regime releases draft Media Decree

7:00 pm on 7 April 2010

Journalists in Fiji could be jailed for up to five years and media organisations fined more than $NZ350,000 for publishing anything the country's military government decides is not in the public interest.

A draft decree has been released by the interim regime which says it wants to ensure fair, accurate and responsible reporting.

Consultation meetings started in Suva on Wednesday but those affected have only been given two-and-half-hours to read the the 50-page document.

A new Media Industry Development Authority would seek to ensure that nothing is included in any media service which is against public interest or order.

All printed material would be required to name the author and similar provisions would apply to broadcast material where possible.

Breaches could lead to organisations being fined hundreds of thousands of dollars and up to five years in jail for publishers, editors or journalists.

Media organisations would also have to be registered and a provision is also created, requiring 90% ownership by a Fiji citizen.