TONGA: NZ Press Council Spurns Media Complaint
NZ PRESS COUNCIL SPURNS MEDIA COMPLAINT
WELLINGTON (Pacific Media Watch): The New Zealand Press Council has declined jurisdiction over a complaint by Tonga Media Association president Sangster Saulala, describing it as a "transnational" issue.
Reports last week said the TMA had gone on the offensive over what it called inaccurate, irresponsible and culturally insensitive criticism of the Tongan government by overseas media.
Saulala complained to the Press Council that the New Zealand media had "falsely depicted corruption" in the kingdom's government and caused dissent among Tongans.
However, a statement today by the council said that it had declined jurisdiction.
"Your complaint has been noted. However the NZ Press Council does not accept what is, in effect, a transnational complaint," the Press Council said in a letter to Saulala.
"The subject of transnational complaints was examined by the World Association of Press Councils (WAPC) at its world conference in Cairo in April 2000 and the proposal for transnational complaints was firmly rejected.
"In short, there is no jurisdiction for your complaint."
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