Tuesday, February 1, 2011

[pima.nius] Media Release: Tonga - IFJ Calls for Strong Independent Complaints Process in Tonga

9:55 AM |



Media Release: Tonga                                                                              

February 1, 2011

 

 

IFJ Calls for Strong Independent Complaints Process in Tonga

 

 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins with the Pacific Freedom Forum in calling for a self-regulatory system to be established for media in Tonga, as defamation proceedings continue in the country this week.

 

Tonga's Minister of Public Enterprises and Revenue Clive Edwards filed a defamation case against Kele'a newspaper following a report in the lead up to the kingdom's first democratic elections on November 25.

 

The report, published on the newspaper's front page on November 24, a day before the elections, alleged that a number of candidates had formed a "secret" political party backed by the then government, Taimi Online reported on January 27. Edwards, who lost his seat in the poll, alleges the report affected the outcome of the elections.

 

"Defamation proceedings too often become a first step when there is no self-regulatory mechanism available for complaints to the media to be assessed," IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

"The IFJ encourages the Tonga Media Council to work with its member organisations, journalists and media workers to build a robust system that keeps complaints out of the courts while still allowing all parties to receive a fair hearing."

 

The IFJ also notes that self-regulatory systems operate most effectively when they are kept at arms' length of government and involve a broad range of industry representatives.

 

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries

 

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

Find the IFJ on Facebook here

 

 



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pacific islands media association
pima.nius@gmail.com
aotearoa, new zealand
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