The Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) joins the Fijian Media Association (FMA) in welcoming the decision of the Coalition Govt in Fiji to repeal the draconian Media Industry Development Act 2010. On Wednesday this week, Fijian Prime Minister, the Honorable Sitiveni Rabuka announced that Cabinet had endorsed the ‘total repeal’ of the Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) Act of 2010 – ending 13 years of the imposition of the repressive media law in Fiji. PINA salutes the patience and endurance of journalists and media workers in Fiji – working under a media law that intimidated and restricted their freedom to report freely for more than a decade. This is a win for democracy and media freedom in Fiji and the Pacific. “In late January this year, the PINA Executive Board was in Suva and met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Communications in Fiji, Honorable Manoa Kamikamica, who assured the PINA leadership that the government was in the process of reviewing the controversial media legislation in Fiji,” said PINA President Kora Nou.
For the government to live up to its promise and ‘totally repeal’ the media legislation speaks volume of the new era of media freedom in Fiji – that PINA hopes will be replicated throughout the Pacific. PINA congratulates the Coalition Government in Fiji for its commitment to media freedom and removing the media legislation was a great start – allowing journalists to report without fear and favour and holding those in authority to account. “It proves that true democracy and media freedom is back in Fiji. The challenge now is for other Governments in the Pacific to consider following in the footsteps of the Fiji Government. The decision to repeal the MIDA Act 2010 also proves that the Coalition Government in Fiji is ready to listen to its people and empower them to freely express themselves on issues that affect them daily.
“The Coalition Government in Fiji must be commended for leading by example and listening to the voices of its people – repealing the media law after media owners and members of the public pushed for the total repeal at a public consultation in Suva last week.” Media operators and senior journalists who attended the consultation called for the total repeal instead of the proposed media operators and registration media legislation. “The onus is now on the media industry and related stakeholders to put in place proper independent mechanisms for the media to self-regulate and discharge their duties responsibly,” Mr Nou said. The proposed Bill to ‘totally repeal’ the Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) Act 2010 will be tabled in Parliament next week for its enactment
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