THERE were mixed reactions from media organisations yesterday over the threat by interim Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to shut down the media in Fiji.
Daily Post publisher Mesake Koroi said while he did hear the threat made at the meeting between the interim PM and publishers and editors on Monday, he felt Commodore Bainimarama was not serious about it.
"I also do not think he has any intention to close any media down for that matter too.
"We are, in fact, beginning to understand each other as a result of that meeting."
Mr Koroi said the threat originated from a question Commodore Bainimarama posed to the meeting on the consequences of travelling down the path of animosity.
"Everyone was silent when he posed the question then he answered his own question and said he would close the media down even though he said he did not want to act like (Sitiveni) Rabuka," Mr Koroi said.
The Prime Minister's Permanent Secretary, Parmesh Chand, said the comments seem to have been exaggerated and taken out of context.
Mr Chand, who was also present at the meeting, said there was a good exchange of views.
"Both the Government side and the media discussed frankly what their respective concerns were.
"It is unfair now that the media is strategically picking up issues from that meeting and in the process sensationalising them."
Mr Chand said the Government needed the media just as much as the media looked to the Government for information.
"It is important that we move on from here in good faith and with mutual trust and with the common objective of building much improved relationships," he said.
Fiji Media Council chairman Daryl Tarte declined to comment.
The Fiji Times editor Netani Rika said Commodore Bainimarama left the meeting in no doubt that he did not want to pursue the avenue of closure.
"However, he said if matters came to a head he would have no alternative but to follow what Rabuka did in 1987," Mr Rika said.
"He said he would have no qualms about doing the same thing and there was nothing to exaggerate about."
Efforts to get comments from other media outlets were unsuccessful.