Fiji govt denies censorship claim
Fiji's interim government has described allegations it intimidated a local television broadcaster as "a load of rubbish".
Permanent secretary of information, Sharon Smith-Johns, said there was no basis to the International Federation of Journalists report that said Fiji TV was pressured to stop reporting news featuring people identified as opponents of the coup-installed government.
"There is no self-censorship going on whatsoever," she told Pacific Beat.
"All the government is ever asking for is balance and to be fair."
Ms Smith-Johns questioned the reliability of IFJ's sources and said political opponents often featured in local media.
"Quite clearly she's [the IFJ spokeswoman] not in Fiji and she's not reading the newspapers and she's not seeing what's on the TV and not seeing the freedom of speech we have here."
The federation has defended its sources and said it would stand by the statement.
"The verification processes were followed. There's an ethical commitment to protect the sources that informed that statement," spokeswoman Lisa Williams-Lahari told Pacific Beat.
The federation said Fiji TV was told if it did not comply they could lose their broadcast license.
Fiji TV issued a press release in response to the allegation, saying its licence had been renewed for another 12 years.
But it did not respond to Radio Australia's questions about whether it was pressured by the interim government not to run anti-government news items.
Communications Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said he met with the chairman of Fiji TV last month and emphasised that Fiji TV, like all other media organisations, needed to adhere to the Media Code of Ethics and Practice and be balanced and fair.