Rosalind, Annie, Hanfei (Tim), Enoch


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Introduction (TIM)

The Republic of Fiji Island is an island nation located in the south of Pacific Ocean about 2,000 kilometres northeast of New Zealand. The country has more than 332 islands with a total area of 18,300 square kilometres. Most of islands were created because of the volcanic eruption from approximately 150 million years ago. The two main islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, have 87% of total population. The capital and largest city is Suva. Almost all the Fijians live on Viti Levu’s coast, either in the capital city or some small urbanised cities. The major media types that exist in Fiji are broadcast, internet and print. The internet media is more popular than any other types of media.
Most of the media is in English, Fijian and Fiji Hindi.

Basic Information of Fiji

Flag of Fiji
Flag of Fiji

Map of Fiji
Map of Fiji
Official Languages
Fiji Hindi

Military-appointed government and Parliamentary republic
  • Upper house
  • Lower house
ParliamentSenateHouse of Representatives
From the United Kingdom 10 October 1970
Total: 18,274 square km
Fijian Dollar (FJD)
[[#|Press]] Freedom RankingScore

Types of media (ENOCH AND TIM)

There are 3 main types of media in Fiji which are: Newspapers, Television and Radio.


Fiji prints wide [[#|range]] of newspapers in both domestic and international news listed in the following table.
Fiji Times
  • An English printed newspaper in Fiji
  • Is a branch-off of News Ltd
  • Established in 1869 and is the oldest running newspaper in Fiji
  • Published daily and is also available [[#|online]]
  • Was originally owned by Rupert Murdoch but was bought by Mahendra Motibhai Patel
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Fiji Live
  • One of Fiji's largest websites
  • Gained fame after publishing articles about the 2006 coup d'etat
  • Is an [[#|online]]newspaper, business and cultural directory
  • Privately owned by the [[#|Future]]Group companies whos owner is Yashwnat Gaunder
  • Was one of the few news sources on the 2006 coup to the international and domestic audience
  • Is still one of the main supply of Fiji news to international audiences
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Fiji Sun
  • Fijian newspaper printed in English
  • Owned privately by Sun(Fiji)News Limited whose owner is CJ Patel
  • First published in 1999 and also features an online edition
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Shanti Dut
  • Is part of Murdoch's News Ltd
  • Printed weekly in Hindi only
  • Are issued by the Fiji Times
No picture available
Fiji Focus/ New Dawn
  • Government owned newspaper which is printed in the 3 national languages of Fiji, (English, Fijian and Hindi)
  • Main purpose is to provide the public with [[#|information]]on government set policies and effects
  • Originally called New Dawn but was [[#|later]] changed to Fiji Focus due to modernisation and to [[#|meet the]] governments requirements.
Daily Post
  • Started in 1987 by Wame Waqanisanini who owned 50% of its shares
  • Later fell into government ownership
  • Was Fiji's [[#|number]]one source in ethnic news as it reached out to a multicultural audience
  • Production later split into 2 groups where the main publishing was centered in Vanuatu and is still publishing today.
  • Closed in 2010 mainly due to censorship demands placed on the company from the 2006 coup d'etat.
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Television and Radio Broadcasting

There are two major broadcasting cooperations that they provide television and radio broadcasting channels in Fiji.

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FBC - Fiji Broadcasting Corporation(formerly named as Fiji Broadcasting [[#|Commission]] and Island Network Corporation Limited) is a popular public broadcaster in Fiji owned by Fiji government. It was licenced under the posts and the Department of Telegraphs with the name ZJV since it was first started operating in 1935. The FBC was corporatized under the Government’s public sector reform program, and it was recalled as Island Network Corporation Limited in 1998. In July 1999, due to the change of government, the name of this public broadcaster has also been changed to Fiji Broadcasting Corporation.

Television Broadcasting

The broadcasting is free, and it mainly contains news, documentaries, TV programmes and social programmes.
The news is focused on the issues through Fiji society, and people’s everyday lives.
Available Languages
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Radio Broadcasting

Radio Fiji One and Radio Fiji Two are public service broadcast stations under a contract between the government and the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation. Under this contract, the Government “buys” airtime on the two stations and contributes towards its operations.The other part of the FBC is its commercial operations that mainly contain four radio stations – Bula FM, Gold FM, Mirchi FM and 2day FM.
  • i-Taukei
  • Hindustani
  • English
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Fiji TV was established in October of the year 1991, and the Fiji Government has granted an irregular license to the New Zealand Television for making an arrangement for the local rugby fans for watching the live report of the contest of Rugby World Cup. This was reviewed and reissued in the year 2000 for a term of 12 years. Fiji TV was listed as a public company in 1996 on the Suva Stock Exchange, now known as the South Pacific Stock Exchange.
Fiji TV
Television Broadcasting

In this days, Fiji TV has operated four channels.
  • Fiji One
  • Sky Plus
  • Sky Entertainment
  • ESPN
Fiji One is the only free channel owned by Fiji TV. Sky Plus and Sky Entertainment,
are pay channels from Sky Fiji. ESPN is the American global cable television
network focusing on sports.
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Sky Pacific is a pay television service own by Fiji TV established in 2005. It had twelve channels since it started operating, external image Skypacific.jpg
and it was increased to sixteen channels in 2006.

Television Broadcasting

Both domestic and foreign channels are available on Sky Pacific.

  • Fiji One
  • Nickelodeon
  • Cartoon Network
  • MTV
  • Zee TV Asia Pacific
  • Star Plus
  • Fox Movies Premium
  • Star World
  • ESPN
  • Super Channel
  • Discovery Channel
  • BBC World
  • CNN
  • Australia Network
  • NHK

Media Ownership (ENOCH)

The media ownership in Fiji is a combination of private companies, Fijian government and Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd. Foreign countries have had ownership in some of Fiji's major media companies, e.g Fiji Times. However after the 2006 coup d'etat and the leakage of the information to other countries, the Fijian government put out laws in 2010 to further restrict the content of what the media could publish. This gave the government more control over the media as the law dictates that any material that threatens public interest, order or the government could not be published. The government also restricted a lot of foreign ownership as the law gives 90% of the media companie's shares to the Fijian citizens. Any company that refuse would be shut down and journalists that breach the newly enforced law could face up to 5 years in prison.

The laws that were put out in 2010 fell under the PER catergory (Public Ermergency Regulations). Using these regulations the government is able to further control free speech and media content in Fiji. One of the main laws in PER was that citizens were required to get permission from the government to hold public meetings with three or more people. Journalists, reporters and politicans have faced threats about expressing their or the public's views because of this law. An extreme example of the extent of Fijian government control was seen in the arresting of former Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry. The former Prime Minister was arrested on the 1st of October 2010 for holding a public meeting with a group of farmers without having prior permission from the Fijian government. Immediantly after this incident Donna Guest, Deputy Director of Amnesty International Asia Programme, spoke out concerning the usage of the PER acts:

"The government's continued use of the PER, acts as a clear deterrent to Fijians seeking to speak and meet freely" Is this referenced at the bottom and is there a date?

thus demonstrating the Fijian government exploiting their use of PER for national level censorship.

Blogs and Online Discussion (ENOCH)

As the Fijian government has a strong grip over the media and free speech the Fijian public has turned to the internet to express their opions via a combination of blogs, emails and websites. The use of blogging and online chat rooms has been increasing ever since the 2006 coup and is still rising today as it appears the only way the Fijian public can have freedom of speech. Political blogging is also becoming popular as Fijian politicians and citizens alike discuss the governments views on politics and their implications. However political blogging does not have enough content and sound structure as it has only started to rise recently from 2006 onwards.

The use of blogging and online chatrooms in Fiji has increased also due to the fact that the public can now have freedom of speech without being arrested. Many Fijians use psydonames when discussing about government matters to avoid military or police interferance. Studies also have been conducted on the use of blogging and has found that many readers and followers of blogs have been more encouraged or are still anti-governmental showing us the amount of anti-govenrment content there are on the internet.

Trends in Media Ownership (ROSALIND)

The Fiji Times, the most widely-read newspaper in Fiji (Dutt, 2010) was controversially forced to change hands in 2010. The Fijian Media Decree of that year restricted foreign ownership of the media to ten percent. Until then, the Fiji Times had been owned by News Limited, Rupert Murdoch's Australian media company. It has been argued the foreign ownership laws were targeted specifically at the Fiji Times, which was one of the government's most relentless critics (Dutt, 2010). News Limited sold the paper to Fijian businessman Mahendra Motibhai Patel, but retains ten percent of the shares.

Regulation (ANNIE)

The Fijian Constitution (Amendment) Act 1997 allows freedom of expression. This includes freedom to seek and retrive information and the freedom of the press/media[1] However since the self-appointed prime minster Frank Bainimarama has been in power in 2006, the media has largely been surpressed and censored by the military regime. Bainimarama claimed that there would be new order in Fiji where media would assist him in his vision of creating a more peaceful, harmonious and progessive Fiji (Dutt, 2010). He established a Public Emergency Regulation (PER) decree, allowing governments to inferfere with and limit rights, such as freedom to speech and expression. This has led to journalists or other opposers who speak ill of the government to be obtained, totured or killed.

In 2010, the military regime introduced a draft media decree, which includes changes to fines, penalties, and jail terms (journalist can face 5 years in jail if they breech the law) and foriegn ownership. Now 90% of the media must be owned by a Fiji citizen, affecting foreign owned groups such as New Limited Fiji Sun.

Main features of the Fiji Media Decree:

Part 2 of the decree creates the Media Industry Development Authority of Fiji, which will have a chairperson and five their members.

Part 3 of the decree incorporates the Media code of ethics and practices, the general code of advertisement, the code for advertising to children and the television programme classification code.There is a ban on political advertising.

Part 4 deal with content regulation stating that the media must not produce material that is against public interest or order, national interest or anything that would create communal discord.

Part 5 gives the MIDA the power to investigate suspected infringements of the provision of the decree, powers to enter, search and seize documents under warrant, and to require documents and information which the Authority needs for its investigations.

Part 6 sets out the registration process for media companies-sworn affidavits needs to be lodged with the MIDA for all media organisations in Fiji.

Part 7 sets out the features of media organisations and the ownership rights of locals and foreigners. Foreign ownership is limited to 10 percent of beneficial shares. Cross-media ownership is allowed but limited to 25 percent non-voting shares in organisations in the same medium; while the restriction is 5 percent non-voting shares in organisations in a different medium.

Part 8 establishes the Media tribunal, which will be made up of a chairperson, appointed by the President on the advice of the Attorney General.

Part 9 sets out the process through which the MIDA can receive and act on complaints and also sets out the recourse available to complainants if the MIDA decides to summarily dismiss any complaints.

Part 10 outlines the proceedings before the tribunal and the procedures that are to be followed during the referral and hearing of complaints and media disputes.

Part 11 contains miscellaneous sections, parts of which allow the minister to make directives during emergencies, the jurisdiction of the magistrates and high courts, the limitation of commencement proceedings to six months from the dates of alleged offence and the repeal of the registration of newspapers act and the press corrections act.
Is this a quote or just italicised?

Independent Inquiry (ANNIE)

The Fiji Press Council was established in 1970 as a self regulatory body that monitors airing media concerns. It watches and scrutinises the media content of radio, television, print media
Fiji Media Watch logo
Fiji Media Watch logo

newspapers and advertisements. The Fiji Press Council was a good starting point in promoting a voice for the Fijians concerned about their media.

However, in 1996 the media review by the Thomas Foundation consultants, Kenneth Morgan and John Prescott Thomas, concluded the council was "ineffective in its principal task of dealing with complaints against the press". Thus the Fiji Press Council reformed and "reinvigorated" and was renamed the "Fiji Media Watch". It has established an independent complaints committee and holds several community events creating awareness for people to act. It has major success with the Fiji news media, such as exposing government corruption.

However once again, the reformed Fiji Media Watch was criticised to be "incompetent and ineffective" for "the council's inability to tackle unbalanced reporting and the media's reluctance to correct mistakes." (Robie, 2004,p.54; Singh, AS., 2008)

In 2007, Dr James Anthony, an academic in human rights and media reviewed Media Watch. He critiqued the structural organisation, saying that the "industry members appoint themselves". The organisation's leading representative is selected from The Ministry of Information who then select their own members, meaning that in the end the head of the Fiji Media Watch is lead by the a member of the government. This procedure is "not designed to generate confidence". Another problem external to the council is the "gagging of employees", meaning that media companies are ban from taking part of Media Watch, and the bad repuation of the inquiry. People genuinely see it as a "dead letter" and think it "doesn't address problems".

He suggested:
"A Media Development Authority should be established. The authorities should consider facilitating the enactment of legislation that provides penalties for the publication or broadcasting of any material that can incite sedition or that is in breach of the Public Order Act" Add in-text reference.

However even this enquiry was criticised by chairman of Fiji Times, Ross McDonalds (2007) saying that it was "blatantly racial and offensive" and the document being "riddled with opinion dressed up as fact".

Overall, despite the tangle of arguments, the Fiji Media Watch is an independent inquiry that continues to improve and promote the fairness in media.

Censorship in the Fijian Media

Fiji has faced the paradox of a traditionally free press and a succession of mostly authoritarian governments.
(Robie, 2009)

The military-backed government of Fiji has been increasingly severe on the country's media since it seized power in a coup in 2006. This has largely been executed by changes to media laws (particularly the Public Emergency Declaration of 2009 and the Fiji Media Decree of 2010). However, there have been some incidences of government coercion when journalists have criticised the regime. In 2008, The Fiji Times published a letter critical of the court case that conferred legitimacy on the Bainimarama government. The Australian publisher, Rex Gardner, was charged with 'contempt of court' and deported. Another Australian, Russell Hunter, editor of the rival Fiji Sun, was also deported that year. The Fiji Times criticised this move at the time (Marau, 2008). Foreign ownership of the Fijian media is now restricted to ten percent, a policy thought to be a result of these two cases (Dutt, 2010). The Fiji Times wrote that the foreign ownership and shows would be "part of the problem, and not the solution".
After Bainimarama's controversial reappointment as Prime Minister in 2009, the government began to restrict the local media even more tightly. According to Fraenkel (2010):

Officers from the military-controlled Ministry of Information were sent on a nightly basis into the newsrooms of the local media organisations, several foreign journalists were expelled, and the signals from Radio Australia were jammed...
In response to this crackdown, foreign newspapers quickly adopted the role of criticising the political situation (Fraenkel, 2010). Even though Fijians may not have had access to these newspapers, this is an example of how censorship can be challenged.

Since the media reforms of 2009, Fiji's media has moved from playing a 'radical' role in local politics to a 'collaborative' role (Dutt, 2010). Robie (in Dutt, 2010) argues that it may have been the immense freedom of the Fijian press before 2009 that triggered such an extreme reaction from the Bainimarama government. Whatever the reason, press freedom in Fiji has changed dramatically since 2009. The international media organisation Reporters Without Borders ranked Fiji as 79th on its Press Freedom Index in 2008. The following year, after the Public Emergency Declaration was introduced, Fiji was ranked at 152 (Reporters Without Border, n.d.)

Implications for these factors for:


The Fijian military regime's decision to localise media, meaning closing off foreign media and censoring criticism against the Fijian government, has limited media diversity. They have used laws, strict monitoring, violence, as a means to silence news companies and the public to keep ideologies to their favour. Fijians have shifted from internal media (radio, television, etc) to external media (online, blogs), as a way to "let it all out". (Foster, 2007)

Flow of Information

'Sulu-censors' were placed in all newsrooms in order to supervise the content of news and make sure that no 'negative' stories regarding to their regime were reported, after the abrogation of the constitution. (Dutt, 2010)


The deportation of two prominent newspaper editors in 2008 is one example of the political issues journalists in Fiji face. According to Robie (2009) both local and foreign journalists in Fiji have been 'detained, threatened and harrassed.' Journalists in Fiji are likely to be cautious about their comments in the current political environment.


Dutt, R, 2010, 'The Fiji Media Decree: A push towards collaborative journalism' Pacific Journalism Review, Vol.16, No.2, pp.81-98. Accessed online via Informit database, 5 August 2012.

Fiji Broadcasting Cooperation 2012, Fiji, accessed 9 August 2012, <http://www.fbc.com.fj/about-fbc>
Fraenkel, J., 2010, 'Fiji', Contemporary Pacific, Vol.22, No.2, pp. 461-433. Accessed online via Prorequest database, 14 August 2012.

Maps of World 2012, Fiji TV, accessed 11 August 2012, <http://www.mapsofworld.com/fiji/media/tv.html>
Marau, 2008, 'Sun publisher deported, court order ignored', The Fiji Times(online),
http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=82423. Accessed 14 August 2012.

Reporters Without Borders, n.d., 'Press Freedom Index' (online),
http://en.rsf.org/spip.php?page=classement&id_rubrique=33. Accessed 14 August 2012.

Political blogs on Fiji 2010: A 'cybernet democracy' case study Pacific Journalism Review, Vol 16, No.1, pp.154-166
Accessed online via Abdobe Reader, 15 August 2012.

Amnesty International 2010, 'Former Fiji PM's rights to free speech and assembly violated', Amnesty International(online),
http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/23827/ . Accessed 15 August 2012.

Amnesty International 2010, 'Fiji media law another blow to freedom of expression', Amnesty International(online),
http://www.amnesty.org.au/news/comments/23286/ . Accessed 15 August 2012.

Brigid Glanville 2010, 'Fiji tightens media ownership rules', ABC News(online),
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-04-07/fiji-tightens-media-ownership-rules/2595456. Accessed 15 August 2012.

Fiji Times 2010, 'Fiji Times shuts under censorship threat', Fiji Times Online,(online),
http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=52961. Accessed 15 August 2012.

Hayes M, 2000, 'Academic, Media & Religious Freedom ~ Not ~ in Fiji', Fiji, viewed 10 August 2010

Foster, S, 2007, 'Who let the blog out? Media and free speech in post-coup Fiji', Pacijic Journalism Review, Vol 13(2), p47-60. Accessed online via EBSCOhost database, 15 August 2012.

Robie, D.,, 2009, 'Behind the Fiji censorship: A comparative media regulatory case study', Pacific Journalism Review, Vol.15, No.2, pp. 85-116. Accessed online via Informit database, 14 August 2012.
<http://search.informit.com.au.wwwproxy0.library.unsw.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=300966419566601;res=IELHSS>ISSN: 1023-9499
  1. ^ http://www.paclii.org/fj/legis/num_act/ca1997268/