23 Apr 2009

Pacnews has no plans to quit Suva despite Fiji censorship

6:45 pm on 23 April 2009

The regional news agency Pacnews, says it has no plans to shift its base from Fiji after becoming subject to the same censorship as the local media.

Earlier this week, Pacnews was told to take the Security Council comments over Fiji off its news service.

From Suva, Philippa Tolley has more

"At present, Pacnews is not choosing to include any Fiji stories in its news feed that gets sent out regularly throughout the day. This means it avoids having a censor come into its office to vet stories concerning Fiji. Despite the fact it's aimed at its regional subscribers, the Fiji government's spokesperson, Major Neumi Leweni, says if it's based here it must follow local guidelines: 'Well, they are based in Fiji, so they say when you are in Rome you do as the Romans do'. The situation has led to suggestions that the service should look at relocating out of Suva as happened after earlier coups. Pacnews is a service of the regional organisation PINA and its president, Joseph Ealedona, says the service will not be forced out by the local situation but the safety and security of its staff is a priority. He says they will try to find ways to discuss with the caretaker government improving relations with the media."