Politicians and public officials should refrain from taking action that undermines the independence of the media – CCF
The govt should have no involvement in the news media – Dr Singh

Politicians and public officials should refrain from taking action that undermines the independence of the media – CCF

The govt should have no involvement in the news media – Dr Singh

By Rashika Kumar
Friday 24/03/2023
From left to right: Dr Shailendra Singh of USP, Milika Ligabalavu of CCF, Releshni Karan of the UN and Nilesh Lal of Dialogue Fiji

Citizens Constitutional Forum Legal Officer Milika Ligabalavu says politicians and public officials should refrain from taking action that undermines the independence of the media.

Ligabalavu says this includes interfering politically in the operations or taking commercial control over regulatory bodies of commercial or community or public service media or putting pressure on online platforms to engage in content regulation.

Dialogue Fiji Director, Nilesh Lal says the cross media ownership provision in the Media Industry Development Act created a lopsided environment where the state broadcaster has a major undue advantage and they need to make things fairer for the private players in the media market.

While opposing the draft Media Bill, the Head of USP’s School of Journalism, Doctor Shailendra Singh says the government should have no involvement in the news media.

He says they recommend that the draconian and punitive measures in the Act should be taken away completely as there are enough legislations in place to deal with any serious transgression by the news media.

Dr. Singh adds replacing the Media Council with the Media Act was taking the axe to a fairly minor problem.

Meanwhile the United Nations has welcomed the move by the coalition government to repeal the Media Industry Development Act and would like to provide guidance on media laws to make it compliant with international standards.

While speaking on behalf of the United Nations Human Rights Office, Resident Coordinator’s Office, UNDP and UNESCO during the consultation on the draft Media Bill, Releshni Karan says people need to be afforded the same rights offline as they are protected online such as their freedom of expression and this is applicable regardless of frontiers.

Karan says any future Act should ensure the rights of people in places other than traditional media and that it is respectful of human rights and dignity and promotes safety of journalists.

She says they should also look at taking out the seditious provisions from the Crimes Act which was traditionally used against the journalists.

Karan further says women journalists should be protected from harm or harassment both online and offline and the current draft does not have any reference to privacy or human rights issues and it should be included.

Click here for full coverage on the public consultation on the Draft Media Bill

FEATURE NEWS
Kiran calls for expanded legal outreach to rural communities
Legal officials have been urged to consider expanding their outreach efforts to rural areas, where educating rural populations on legal matters such a...
2 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Pacific Recycling Foundation condemns Police repression of Argentine Waste Pickers' peaceful protest
The Pacific Recycling Foundation has strongly condemned and stands in strong solidarity with the International Alliance of Waste Pickers regarding ...
29 minutes ago

Cabinet approves framework for sustainable township development
The Cabinet has approved the development of a National Blue Town Framework for sustainable township development, including rural and regional areas ...
34 minutes ago

Fiji Methodist Church celebrates 60 years of independence and 189 years of faith
Members of the Methodist Church in Fiji celebrated their 60th year of independence after splitting from the Australasia Methodist Church in ...
1 hour ago

Cabinet approves purchase of 14 PMV vehicles for peacekeeping missions
Cabinet has approved the execution of a Memorandum of Sale with the Australian Government for the acquisition of fourteen Protected Mobility Vehicles ...
3 hours ago

Taylor Swift grabs royal selfie at London gig
Taylor Swift grabbed a perfect royal selfie ahead of her Wembley gig - posing with the Prince of Wales and two young music fans, Prince George and ...
4 hours ago



fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
yb
IN DEPTH
RFNS Puamau submergence on Fulaga Reef
No timeline has been given on how long the salvage operations for the RFNS Puamau will take as the Fiji Navy has started the de-fuelling process in Fulaga in a bid to safely salvage the vessel from the reef.
4 days ago

Crisis within FijiFirst relating to the termination of 17 MPs who voted for salary increases
A crisis has erupted within the FijiFirst party relating to the termination of 17 members of parliament who supported the government's motion to ...
9 days ago

Pre-Budget 2024-2025
Pre Budget 2024-2025 budget recommendations and an insight of what people on the ground wish to see in the National Budget
11 days ago

TOP