24 May 2010

Fiji journalism school head hopes for toned down media decree

7:04 pm on 24 May 2010

The head of journalism at the University of the South Pacific says he hopes the interim regime's media decree is toned down from the original draft.

There is still no official word when the decree will be finalised, though there are suggestions it could be in place within the next month.

The interim government says the decree is to ensure accurate and balanced reporting, but in its draft form it's been described as draconian with provisions to jail journalists for up to five years.

Shailendra Singh says everyone is now waiting to see in what form the decree will be promulgated.

"We do not need a media decree that will curb journalists from reporting freely and openly. I think it will be against this government's own interests. This government is again very strong on transparency and accountability. One of the pillars of transparency and accountability is the media."

Shailendra Singh from the University of the South Pacific.