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FMA concerned with law amendments


Aug 06, 2022 06:04:48 PM

FMA concerned with law amendments The Fijian Media Association is calling on the Government to have dialogue with media organisations about the concerns they have about the amendments to media laws passed in Parliament last week.

The FMA in a statement said it is concerned about the ambiguity in the new amendment - and the potential for undue interference into the integrity and independence of the Fijian media.
“While the Government states that the new law is meant to stop media organisations from circumventing current media laws by engaging a foreigner or foreign company to run its operations and make decisions - the amendment does not specifically mention foreigners.”

FMA said the amendment refers to media organisations making an agreement with "any person that allows the person or any other person to manage the affairs or operations of the media organisation."

“It prohibits a media organisation from entering into any agreement which allows any other person from managing the affairs or operations of the media organisation unless the prior approval of the Authority is obtained.”

“There is no specific mention that this refers to an agreement with a foreigner or foreign company.”

“The amendment further states that this includes anyone involved in the management, decision making, control of or any other governing function in relation to the day-to-day operations, finances, staffing or production of, or publication by, the media organisation.”

The FMA believes the amendments gives too much broad power to MIDA that could be abused in the future to the detriment of the industry and is also calling on Government and the Opposition to respond to all media emails and calls from all media organisations and not pick and choose which media they respond to.

“FMA members have an immense number of emails and queries on key national issues that have been sent to Government and opposition members that remain unanswered.”
“Respecting media freedom should mean also responding to media organisations they do not like or do not agree with,” FMA further stated.

By Reginald Chandar

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