Fiji Government assurance to end era of media oppression


The Fiji Coalition Government has given an assurance that it will end the era of media oppression.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said this whilst delivering his maiden speech in Parliament Monday.

“I have made it clear that the Government is totally committed to allowing the people freedom of the press, allowing the nation, freedom of the press. That will include the review of the Media Industry Development Act (MIDA),” Rabuka said.

“I believe we cannot have a proper democracy without a free press which has been described as the “Oxygen” of democracy,” he said.

“We depend on newspapers, television, radio and other electronic and digital forms of communication for information and news.”

Rabuka said citizens must be informed about events and developments in society; otherwise, they cannot truly fulfill their democratic obligations to give their views and participate in governance.

“An active and free press creates a progressive society. It is a self-correcting mechanism for a free and fair society. Admission of national wrongs is part of that. So is the ability to learn from one’s mistakes.

“The Coalition Government will carefully study the arrangements by which one of our daily newspapers had received substantial amount of public funds for advertising over more than one and a half decade.

“We are also interested in the connection between that money and the newspaper’s servile admiration of, and bias towards the government of that era. It was no more than a propaganda act or a propaganda paper, said PM Rabuka.