14 Oct 2013

Fiji Media Watch says independence important to its role

8:47 am on 14 October 2013

An independent media NGO in Fiji says it has to remain independent from any media authority.

The Executive Director of Fiji Media Watch, Agatha Ferei, says the group intends to continue running workshops throughout the country to prepare for next year's election.

The new chairman of the Media Industry Development Authority Ashwin Raj has said all communications workers and groups, including NGOs, will have to be registered.

Ms Ferei says she does not think Fiji Media Watch has to be registered, and a fully independent body made up of media professionals, should be formed to regulate the media.

"Our workshops, our visits to the communitities, will continue and we will advocate for freedom of expression and opinion by citizens and at the same time we will try, we will not try, but promote, the independence of reporters, to be able to report independently what they feel or think needs to be reported to people"

Agatha Ferei says the media decree, which includes jail terms and fines, is a threat to journalists and she hopes it can be reviewed.