30 Jun 2008

Fiji rejection of Australian journalists described as unacceptable

6:18 am on 30 June 2008

The chair of Fiji's media council says it is unacceptable that a delegation from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation was refused visas for the country.

According to the ABC, the team will travel to American Samoa next week to attend the Festival of Pacific Arts and it had also scheduled a visit to Fiji.

The Interim Government's spokesperson, Major Neumi Leweni, confirms visas for the delegation were refused, based on some negative reports, but says the government is working towards getting them in.

Daryl Tarte says he doesn't think there's any just reason for them to be refused entry into the country.

"I suspect the action by the Fiji government is more in opposition to the way Fiji may be perceived negatively by the media overseas. But the same applies to the media here in Fiji. The government's main complaint about the operations of the media in Fiji is they are not reporting positively enough about the Government."

Daryl Tarte says he is horrified at the suggestion that the same thing could happen to other foreign journalists.