10 Nov 2003

Tonga's Press Complaints Committee comes into operation

8:18 am on 10 November 2003

Tonga's Press Council takes another step forward this week when the Complaints Committee comes into operation.

The Press Council was set up in July in a bid to head off moves to bring the news media under state control.

9 different media organisations, from radio and television to newspapers have joined the council despite government opposition to it.

Kalafi Moala, the publisher of the Taimi o' Tonga newspaper, says the success of the Council depends on its members ability to remain firm.

"I think it's a risky move for them, they've been subjected tosome harrassment, but I think its a matter of them standing strong on thier grounds and hopefully things will come together. It dosen't look good right now with all the legislation that's been passed against the media and all of that, but I think these journalists can really group together and stand strong together and give some hope of the furture."