FMA concerned about changes to media law – FBC News

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The Fiji Media Association has expressed concern over amendments to the Media Acts which were passed in Parliament last week.

The FMA says the amendments have the potential of undue interference with the integrity and independence of the Fijian media.

The association called on the government to engage with the Fijian media about its concerns over the new legislation.

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The amendment refers to media organizations entering into an agreement with “any person that permits the person or any other person to manage the affairs or operations of the media organization”.

It prohibits a media organization from entering into an agreement allowing another person to manage the affairs or operations of the media organization unless it has obtained prior approval from the Media Industry Development Authority .

The FMA says there is no specific mention that this is an agreement with a foreigner or a foreign company.

The amendment further states that this includes anyone involved in management, decision-making, control, or any other governance function relating to day-to-day operations, finance, staffing, or production or publication by media organization.

The FMA believes that the amendments give too broad powers to MIDA which could be abused in the future to the detriment of the industry.

The association also calls on the government and the opposition to respond to all media emails and calls from all media organizations and not to choose which media outlets they respond to.

FMA members have an overwhelming number of emails and questions on key national issues that have been sent to government and opposition members that remain unanswered.

He says respecting media freedom should also mean responding to media organizations they dislike or disagree with.