In a week where Fiji media are fighting for its survival because of the proposed media decree, the longtime and Suva based news organisation, PINA, has been told to put aside its tolerance of the Fiji media restrictions and pull out of the coup stricken nation.
Wods, the managing director of Cook Island News, has gone public with his criticism saying PINA is ignoring the online discussion among Pacific journalists who want the it to fight the draconian decree, which threatens to imprison journalists, editors and publishers for up to five years and impose fines as heavy as half a million Fiji dollars.
Pacific journalists are also alarmed at the decree provisions that make it easy for the illegal regime to perpetuate its censorship policy by restricting foreign ownership of media organisations to just 10 per cent, a state of affairs which could force the closure of the Fiji Times.
In a story in his own paper, Woods is quoted as being disappointed with PINA's wait-and-see approach, saying it's critical the PINA board come out early and strong on denouncing the decree.
PINA's Fiji-based manager, Matai Akauola, was quoted by Radio New Zealand International as saying it's too early to adopt a strong position on Thursday.
"PINA would like to try to meet with its members, like Fiji TV, Fiji Times, Fiji Sun before we could come to a conclusion on how we see this media decree. You could just gather from the meeting that they have their own point of view, so it would be good to sit down one on one with the various organisations," said Akauola.
But Woods, who last week told media that PINA needs to be leave Fiji because it's 'cowtowing' to censorship under the illegal regime, says the organisation is too dysfunctional to be effective.
Picture: PINA's Matai Akauola (second left from back) with IFEX members Chris Warren of MEAA Australia (back), Owais Ali of PPF in Pakistan, Joel Simon of the global Committee for the Protection of Journalists, and IFJ international head Aidan White (front)