30 Sep 2008

Tonga MPs and media hold a workshop on media freedom

6:49 pm on 30 September 2008

The editor of a newspaper in Tonga says he hopes parliament can gain a better understanding of the role of the media so there is greater press freedom in Tonga.

A workshop is being hosted by the Legislative Assembly of Tonga, with the aim of bringing the media and government together to figure out ways it can work better together.

The editor of the Kele'a newspaper, Po'oi Pohiva, says his newspaper is facing seven defamation lawsuits because goverment feels the paper has been too critical.

He says as a result, self-consorship is creeping into the media.

"They always pick on our paper, the Kele'a, because we are the ones that are more critical about the government activities. Other papers I see are slowly refraining from publishing materials that are very much critical of government activities I think for the fear of embarrassing government."

Po'oi Pohiva says the workshop is a positive step towards a better relationship with the government.