29 May 2003

Fiji's Information Minister hits out at media campaign over media control

5:29 pm on 29 May 2003

Fiji's Minister of Information, Simione Kaitani, has expressed frustration at what he calls a concerted campaign by the media against the proposed Media Bill.

Mr Kaitani says it was always the government's intention that its draft Bill was flexible and open for consultation, but he says the media has swamped the process with negative publicity about it.

Meanwhile, one of Fiji's most prominent businessman, Mahendra Motibhai Patel, says the Bill could set a dangerous precedent for future governments to become autocratic and adopt one-party rule.

But the minister welcomes such submissions.

"opinions like the ones being expressed by Mr Patel has indeed helped in compiling the final draft but our media here tend to be overriding all this process by a massive orchestrated campaign and they have successfully shifted the emphasis which is on the need to consult on this draft bill to governments control of the media"

Fiji's Minister of Information, Simione Kaitani