The Pacific Freedom Forum says the Fiji government's attack on the Fiji Times shows there is a long way to go before the media's role in society is appreciated.
The prime minister said the newspaper's reporting of comments by the opposition leader about government-run boarding schools was a grossly irresponsible piece of journalism.
The PFF's editor, Jason Brown, says the government is overreacting.
He says the Fiji Times reported a comment from the leader of the opposition, of which counter-comment was sought and printed.
Mr Brown says perhaps the government needs to adjust its thinking about the media's role.
"Certainly there's not military censors in the newsroom and haven't been for quite some time. But it shows there's quite a way to go yet before government regains an appreciation of what the media is there for, which is to publicise different points of view on issues of the day."