31 Mar 2014

Media monitoring unit in Fiji unlikely to work - UFDF

2:46 pm on 31 March 2014

Fiji's main political grouping says a planned media monitoring unit will not mean equal access to all political parties in the lead up to September's election.

The Media Industry Development Authority has announced it will set up the five-person unit to assess election coverage by all media outlets.

But the coordinator of the United Front for a Democratic Fiji, Mick Beddoes, says media coverage is not free and fair, with oppostion parties' comments being ignored by 90 percent of media outlets in Fiji.

Mr Beddoes says instead of MIDA setting up such a group, it should focus on ensuring media outlets are abiding the Media Decree.

"The media is not performing in accordance with the media decree. Instead of worrying about the monitoring body, I don't know what they want to monitor, the first thing they need to do is invoke the law, make sure that the media organisations comply with the Decree."

Mick Beddoes says such a media monitoring unit is unlikely to be independent from government intervention.