FMA concerned with media law amendments

August 5, 2022 4:10 pm

[File Photo]

The Fijian Media Association has expressed concern about amendments to the media laws that were passed in Parliament last week.

FMA says the amendments have the potential for undue interference into the integrity and independence of the Fijian media.

The association has called on the government to have dialogue with the Fijian media about its concerns with the new legislation.

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The amendment refers to media organizations making an agreement with “any person that allows the person or any other person to manage the affairs or operations of the media organization”.

It prohibits a media organization from entering into any agreement, which allows any other person from managing the affairs or operations of the media organization, unless the prior approval of the Media Industry Development Authority is obtained.

The FMA says there is no specific mention that this refers to an agreement with a foreigner or foreign company.

The amendment further states that this includes anyone involved in the management, decision making, control of or any other governing function in relation to the day-to-day operations, finances, staffing or production of, or publication by, the media organization.

The FMA believes the amendments gives too much broad power to MIDA that could be abused in the future to the detriment of the industry.

The association is also calling on Government and the Opposition to respond to all media emails and call from all media organizations and not pick and choose which media they respond to.

FMA members have an immense number of emails and queries on key national issues that have been sent to Government and Opposition members that remain unanswered.

It says respecting media freedom should also mean responding to media organizations they do not like or agree with.