Fiji Time: 7:50 PM on Tuesday 17 October

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FHRC report on the Freedom and Independence of the Media in Fiji

The Report

Full report PDF - 66.3MB

or, in parts for easy downloading

Conclusions

  1. Establish a Media Tribunal, to be independent of any government control
  2. Establish a Media Development Authority
  3. Enable legislation that penalises publication or broadcast of any material that can incite sedition or that is in breach of the Public Order Act
  4. A 7% tax on all media advertising revenue and a further 7% on all revenues generated from license and monthly user fees. This money to fund the Media Tribunal and Media Development Authority.
  5. All work permits in the media industry not be renewed and that no further work permits to be issued.
  6. A second "tier" of recommendations should include a study of cross-ownership of shares by media company directors, with an eye on the possibility this cross-ownership placed limitations on democracy.

Recommendations

  1. Adopt all the above conclusions.
  2. The Media Tribunal hear cases against media, allowing "judicial remedy" for aggrieved people, who can appear in person, and not have to face the cost of hiring lawyers to take defamation or libel cases through courts, or rely on the Media Council complaints process. The Tribunal to be able to order compensation and damages.
  3. The Media Development Authority to be based on the Singapore model. The authority to monitor media operations, and train staff to raise news reporting standards, build cooperation between media and government and the public, and ensure media responsibility inline with Fiji laws and international human rights laws.

Submitted Responses

  • Communications Fiji Limited

    The naked racist hatred displayed by your consultant in this report says much about him, and his credibility, revealing just how out of date he is with modern Fiji and its values and beliefs.

  • Islands Business

    To initiate and endorse a report that is baldly racist, intends to wound, is riddled with bias and is incorrect in many of its facts, I am certain, violates the ethics and charter of your organization.

  • Fiji Media Council

    I am astounded that the consultant has made little reference to the media situation here in Fiji following the events of December 5 [2006].

  • The Fiji Sun

    Your consultant makes much of the need for balance in the media but makes it abundantly clear that balance is not high – or even present – on his own agenda. Anonymous statements are taken at face value wherever they support his preconceived conclusions.

  • Fiji Times Limited

    It is startling that any report on media freedom in Fiji would fail completely to address the verified reports of physical, verbal and mental abuse media practitioners have faced at the hands of the military since the December 2006 coup. Your consultant simply ignores this reality.
    Full response from Fiji Times

  • Fiji TV

    Overall, the FHRC’s Media Inquiry Report is so surreally ludicrous, blatantly untrue, unfounded, one-sided, ill-researched and compromised that it can only be labelled a sensationalized piece of fiction…

Also:

Your Say

The final report has been released, and there's no change from the original, despite many adverse comments. What do you think?

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