14 May 2007

TI Vanuatu welcomes media freedom bill moves

1:29 pm on 14 May 2007

Transparency International Vanuatu has welcomed the government's move towards wider consultation on the drafting of a Freedom of Information bill.

TI and the Media Association of Vanuatu have been lobbying the government for such a bill for years.

Both are among the stakeholders who the government now wants to consult on drafting the bill.

The government says it recognises the key role the media plays in the development process of the country.

TI's Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson says it's encouraging that the government is willing to work with civil society on the Bill because the consultation needs to be balanced.

"I think at the moment in Vanuatu we are probably in a better situation than we have been in the past. Fiji, for example, is in a worse situation than they have been in the past. But there are ups and downs in each of our islands so it's good to have a law that is worked together by the government and the civil society and in this case especially the journalists' association."

Marie-Noelle Ferrieux-Patterson