7 Apr 2010

PINA manager admits censorship happens, but tries to maintain relationship with Government

7:51 am on 7 April 2010

The manager of the Fiji-based Pacific Islands News Association says the organisation tries to keep an open dialogue with the current government, but admits censorship does occur.

This follows a call from the organisation's vice president, John Woods, that the organisation should relocate.

Mr Woods, who publishes the Cook Island News, has told Radio Australia that kowtowing to the Fiji censors by PINA is contrary to what the organisation stands for, which is freedom of expression.

The manager and training co-ordinator for PINA in Fiji, Matai Akauola says at the PINA annual general meeting a unanimous decision was made for PINA to stay in Fiji.

But he says censorship does happen.

"At PINA we are also monitored in the work that we do, at times the government phones us up and they will say that they do not agree with certain articles we publish. For us we are trying to maintain that open door to have dialogue with the current government rather than be shut off. 20 secs"

Matai Akauola says they are trying to talk to the government in terms of media freedom but at the same time trying to run the secretariat and make it more sustainable.