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Fiji Orders Murdoch Out Of Fiji Times

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, June 28 NZPA - Fiji's military regime has today given its most popular newspaper three months to remove media magnate Rupert Murdoch as its owner.

The Media Industry Development Decree, which requires media organisations to be 90 percent locally owned, came into effect today and will require Murdoch to relinquish his majority share in the Fiji Times, Fiji Live reported.

The head of the Attorney General's office in Frank Bainimarama's regime, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the Fiji Times would face closure if it did not comply with the decree.

"Fiji Times, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Limited, have been given three months from today to ensure they comply with the requirements of the media decree or cease operations all together," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

When the new measures were announced in April, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum described the newspaper as "the purveyor of negativity, at least for the past three years".

"This is a media organisation that does not recognise the government, does not call the prime minister the prime minister," he said.

Amnesty International said in April the measures would add to the "widespread censorship" of newspapers and broadcasters introduced last year.

Other measures in the decree include the introduction of compulsory journalist by-lines for stories over 50 words, the ability for the government to issue search warrants for media organisations and the issuing of fines for editors and journalists who break the decree.

The Fiji Times is Fiji's oldest and largest circulated newspaper and is wholly owned by Murdoch's News Ltd.

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