Journalists fear doing their jobs after the Prime Minister sacked leaders of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission, according to prominent publisher Kalafi Moala.
Mr Moala said he had a special media panel organised to mark World Press Freedom Day on Wednesday but no one turned up.
"It's affecting press freedom, its bringing a culture of fear upon other journalists and media organisations and it is really bad that here we are commemorating World Press Freedom day and we are having some huge problems here in Tonga."
Mr Moala said it is a very low point for journalists working in Tonga.
He said he was jailed back in 1996 with 'Akilisi Pohiva for contempt of parliament for publishing something they weren't supposed to.
But Mr Moala said now Mr Pohiva's perception seemed to be that media should always support him and his initiatives, rather than asking too many hard questions of his leadership.