6 Mar 2008

Fiji Media Council chair resigns from key agency in protest at treatment of media

8:29 pm on 6 March 2008

The Chairman of the Fiji Media Council has withrawn from the Council for Building a Better Fiji in protest at the interim government's treatment of the media.

Daryl Tarte says many believe the Charter is the way ahead for the country, but others, including the Media Council, say the process is flawed and will not achieve the desired outcomes.

Don Wiseman has more

"Mr Tarte says the strong involvement by the interim Government in the Council for Building a Better Fiji compromises its activities. Mr Tarte says another factor in the Media Council's reluctance to support the charter process is the interim Government's attitude to freedom of speech and the media. He questions the warning from police that they would deal with any inciteful criticism of the Interim Government and asks whether this means there can be no criticism."

Mr Tarte says the Media Council strongly condemns the deportation of Fiji Sun publisher, Russel Hunter, and asks what would happen if a local journalist did what Mr Hunter is supposed to have done. He wonders whether he would be jailed. And Mr Tarte says the Media Council takes issue with the Fiji Human Rights Commission report on the Fiji Media, written by academic Dr Jim Anthony. He says this report lacks any credibility and is not worthy of consideration by any reputable organisation.