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Fiji Times, Fiji TV excluded from Media Decree talks
By Online Editor
4:44 pm GMT+12, 16/12/2009, Fiji

The two largest media organisations in Fiji will be excluded from any consultation on a Media Decree expected to come into force early next year.

A statement, issued this hour by the Office of the Prime Minister, began by stating that consultations would be held with “all media organisations and other relevant stakeholders which recognise the Bainimarama government and who have an interest in moving Fiji forward for the benefit of all her citizens”

It went on to state that “the media organisations of Fiji Times and Fiji TV shall not be consulted since they have demonstrated through their perverse publication and broadcast respectively that they do not recognise the contemporary Fijian legal system, the status of the Bainimarama government, are partisan and not Fiji focused”.

It continued: “However, should these two media organisations change their partisan editorial, publication and broadcast positions and policy, then they maybe invited to be part of the consultative process”

It said dates for the consultations would be publicised in the next few weeks

Meanwhile, another Australian journalist has fallen foul of Fiji's administration more than two years after he worked in the country.

According to the Gold coast bulletin, Steve McCully, a former executive with The Fiji Times, was refused entry to the island state after arriving there as a tourist for his wedding and honeymoon.

Mr McCully, who now works for The Gold Coast Bulletin, flew into Nadi airport on Saturday afternoon only to be met by Fiji immigration officials who said he was prohibited from entering the nation, which has been under military rule since a coup in December 2006.

“I never got to see outside the airport,” he said. “They detained me at arrivals and then frog-marched me around to departures and checked me on to a flight back to Brisbane later that night.

“I was treated well, but at the same time I was given the impression that any argument would end with the police becoming involved. “They certainly didn't care that I was there for a wedding and honeymoon.”

Mr McCully said he had been allowed to use his mobile phone to contact his fiancee, a Fiji citizen, while he was held in the airport's departure lounge until the flight to Brisbane departed four hours later.

He was not allowed to talk to Fiji officials and was told he could not appeal against his exclusion.

Mr McCully was the editorial training and development manager at the News Ltd-owned Fiji Times from 2004 to 2007, when he had to leave after army strongman Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama stepped in to prevent his work permit being renewed


SOURCE: FIJI TIMES ONLINE/PACNEWS


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