7 Jun 2002

Kiribati government defends media control bill

1:05 pm on 7 June 2002

The Kiribati government has defended a new newspaper act being put in place as a way of protecting ordinary people from false and malicious reporting.

The government's comment comes after criticism by the Pacific Islands News Association which said the proposed act was restricting media freedom.

But the government says in a country like Kiribati, with its small population, there is a high chance that false reporting can lead to undesirable conflicts.

A former President of Kiribati, Ieremia Tabai, says the government wants to have the new media control laws to ensure it will be re-elected.

The amended Newspaper Registration Act would allow the closure of papers about which there have been complaints.