17 Sep 2008

Solomon Islands media angry at Government attempt to control reporting of Constitutional Congress

3:55 pm on 17 September 2008

Solomon Islands media organisations have rejected the Government efforts to control how they report the Constitutional Congress meetings later this month.

An urgent meeting of the Media Association of Solomon Islands, or MASI, has condemned demands made by the Government's Constitutional Reform Unit.

MASI says a memorandum of understanding the Unit wants signed is

designed to give the Government control over how journalists report the Congress.

The media body says the Congress is an important part of the democratic process in this country and all the people should have full access to information about it.

The MASI president, John Lamani, says the Unit's demands are unprecedented, outrageous, unacceptable and naive.

Mr Lamani said no news media organisation would sign such a document

giving potentially sweeping powers over how journalists report on the


Mr Lamani urged the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to

immediately withdraw the Unit's demands and allow free and open reporting

on the Congress.