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More free press, less control: Poll

Nasik Swami
Saturday, May 20, 2017

THE media in Fiji should have more freedom and less control, the most recent Tebbutt-Times Poll result has revealed.

Or at least it is the most common response obtained where 45 per cent of those surveyed agreed on additional freedom for the media.

The poll, conducted independently by Tebbutt Research between May 8-12 of citizens aged 18 years and over, had asked people whether they felt the media in Fiji should have more freedom, less freedom, or if the current regulations and controls over the media were about right.

Twenty-five per cent felt the current level of freedom was about right, and just under a quarter (23 per cent) said there should be more control over the media than at present.

According to the poll which surveyed 1044 people nationwide, just under 1 per cent declined to answer the question, while 6 per cent were unsure.

When considering only those who expressed a view, opinions were strongly divided on whether there should be more media freedom or not.

"Statistically, significant differences were noted in the results based on both age of respondents and ethnicity, however, among all demographic groups (gender, age, urban/rural, division, and ethnicity) additional freedom was the most common response," the poll revealed.

According to the poll, those identified as iTaukei were more likely to say the media should have more freedom (51 per cent vs. 34 per cent for Fijians of Indian Descent), and conversely 20 per cent of iTaukei said there should be more control over the media compared with 29 per cent for Fijians of Indian descent.

"Fijians of Indian descent were less likely to express an opinion (1 per cent refused, 4 per cent unsure) than iTaukei (0.2 per cent refused and 4 per cent unsure)," the poll revealed.

"Younger respondents (aged 18 to 29 years) were less likely to say the media should be more free (38 per cent) than those 30 years or older (46 per cent for 30-44 years and 49 per cent for 45+ years), and were more likely to want more control over the media (29 per cent) than those in the oldest age category (18 per cent for those 45+ years of age)."

According to the results, respondents over 45 years of age were less likely to express an opinion (0.3 per cent refused, 11 per cent unsure) than those in the younger age classifications.








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