Sunday, February 3, 2013

RSF media freedom index warns on Fiji, PNG, praises 'Burmese spring'


An archive video of a Paris protest action by RSF over the violence against journalists in Syria. Video: RSF

THREATS to the media in the South Pacific should not be taken lightly in two Melanesian countries, says the Paris-based global press freedom advocacy group Reporters Sans Frontières.

Papua New Guinea has dropped six places to 41st in the latest RSF World Press Freedom Index with the security forces being "regularly involved in attacks on journalists".

 In Fiji, in spite of a 10-place rise to 107th - "explained in part by the decline of other countries in this section of the index, news organisations are threatened under the Media Industry Development Decree with exorbitant fines, or even imprisonment, as in the case of a recently convicted editor of The Fiji Times".

Elsewhere in the South Pacific did not rate a mention in the report, which highlighted the "Burmese spring" in the Asia-Pacific region.

But among other Pacific Islands Forum countries, New Zealand rose five places to eighth and Australia climbed four places to 26th.

Burma was an exception to decline in freedom of information in Asia.

Source: Pacific Media Watch 8187

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