10 Mar 2004

The Cook Islands government to set up taskforce to review broadcasting

4:27 pm on 10 March 2004

The Cook Islands government says the first step it will take in the review of national television and radio broadcasting is to set up a taskforce.

Cameron Scott, the communications officer in the prime minister's office, says it will be comprised of five to seven people with two members to come from the two main political parties.

The review follows government concerns over the standards of the Cook Islands Broadcasting corporation, which is owned by Elijah Communications and headed by George Pitt.

Mr Scott says the taskforce has a specific purpose.

"The taskforce will call on the public and the Pitt Media group to express their views, and later on, it will make recommendations to government as to whether the broadcasting licenses Elijah Communications hold at present, should be cancelled or renewed"

George Pitt says he has a broadcasting license that is valid for the next five years.

Mr Scott says a broadcasting corporation that the government is also setting up will act as a watchdog to monitor standards.