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Pacific Media Watch

Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat reports today on how Fiji has fared under the draconian Media Industry Development Act that has restricted media freedom over the past decade.

There are hopes that state-endorsed media censorship will stop in Fiji following last month’s change in government to the People’s Alliance-led coalition.

Reported by Fiji correspondent Lice Movono, the podcast outlines former Fiji Times editor-in-chief Netani Rika’s experiences of repression under the former FijiFirst government.

She also reports on Islands Business editor Samantha Magick’s view on media freedom and retired journalism professor Dr David Robie, who founded the Pacific Media Centre, expressing his “scepticism” over whether the hoped for relaxed rules will go far enough for the global RSF Media Freedom Index which ranks Fiji at just 102nd out of 180 countries.

The media item is rounded off with an interview with Attorney-General Siromi Turaga who says the repression of the past should never have happened and he assured listeners that the new government would have a “different approach”.

Netani Rika, former editor of The Fiji Times
Samantha Magick, editor of Islands Business
Dr David Robie, retired journalism professor and editor of Asia Pacific Report
Siromi Turaga, Attorney-General of Fiji

In other items on today’s Pacific Beat:

  • Fiji’s top cop and head of prisons are suspended pending an investigation by a special tribunal.
  • A programme is launched in the Australian state of Victoria to get seasonal workers road-ready.
  • Pacific women take part in Tennis Australia’s leadership programme, coinciding with the Australian Open.
  • And scientists warn some sharks are on the brink of extinction.

Presenter: Prianka Srinivasan

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