Report – By Pacific Media Watch
The Kiribati Independent, the fourth newspaper in the Pacific nation of Kiribati, resumes publication today.
The newspaper closed down in June last year while police investigated a complaint from the Ministry of Communications claiming that the paper had breached the Newspaper Registration Act.
Editor and publisher Taberannang Korauaba told Pacific Media Watch that neither the police nor the Communications Ministry had advised him on the progress of that investigation.
“Our lawyer has advised us that the Kiribati Independent does not break any laws and asked the publisher to commence publication,” he said.
A lawyer for the Kiribati Independent wrote a letter in May last year challenging the Communications Ministry’s directive to close down the paper.
In that letter, Banuera Berina asked the Secretary to take the publisher to court if he believed the law has been breached.
“They have not responded to that letter and that is why our lawyer has told us to print and circulate the papers. If the ministry or the police have further queries, they should speak directly to our lawyer,” Korauaba said.
In its editorial today, Kiribati Independent encouraged the government to use the media as its partner in its development.
“It is our hope that government of the day pays more attention to the message of the media rather than punishing them.”
The Kiribati Independent is printed fortnightly with a circulation of 500.
It is sold mainly in the capital.
It has a sister publication, Auckland-based Kiribati & Tuvalu Independent and a news website, The Kiribati Independent: www.thekiribatiindependent.co.nz
Source: Pacific Media Watch 8180