Pacific Media Watch

30 August 2011

FIJI: Censors tighten screws after graffiti episode

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One of the controversial graffiti signs in Suva. Photo: Fiji sources

SUVA: (Radio New Zealand International/Pacific Media Watch): Censorship rules in Fiji were tightened last week after soldiers were photographed removing anti-regime graffiti from public places, Radio NZ International reports.

A local broadcaster aired a story about the graffiti and earlier in the week the photographs reached a wide internet audience.

Fiji’s media has operated under censorship since April 2009, when the military regime abrogated the constitution and imposed emergency regulations restricting the nature of reportage to what the interim government terms the journalism of hope.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s interim government promised to lift the regulations with the introduction of a media decree in June last year but both systems of censorship remain in place.

In a mass email to media outlets and journalists, the Ministry of Information asked for all news headlines to be sent to the censors half an hour before stories were published.

But this order was later revoked.

The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Sharon Smith-Johns, declined to comment on the matter.

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Earlier story

Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators. (cc) Creative Commons