9 Mar 2010

New Fiji media authority could be ready in weeks

1:24 pm on 9 March 2010

A media authority and tribunal could be introduced by the end of the month in Fiji.

The interim government spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni, says it's proposed under the new system that media organisations will be registered.

He says it's hoped the tribunal will be headed by a judge.

Lieutenant Colonel Leweni says the new system is designed to ensure what he calls responsible journalism.

He says any criticism the system is too controlling needs to be backed up by facts:

"The criticism will have to be substantiated, unfortunately in the past they haven't been, it's like a free meal, they just say whatever they want to say and don't confirm that with anybody else, that's what we mean by being responsible."

Lieutenant Colonel Leweni says the emergency regulations could possibly be lifted in April once a media decree is promulgated.

Consultations with media organisations will begin next week, but The Fiji Times and Fiji Television have been excluded.