|Pacific Media Watch|
Matangi Tonga magazine may have to sell shares
Title -- 4330 TONGA: Matangi Tonga magazine may have to sell shares
Date -- 7 March 2004
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pacific Media Watch
Source -- Radio New Zealand International 5/3/2004
Copyright -- RNZI
Status -- Unabridged
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TONGA'S ONLY NATIONAL NEWS MAGAZINE MAY HAVE TO SELL OFF SHARES TO COMPLY WITH NEW LAW
NUKU'ALOFA (RNZI Online/Pacific Media Watch): Tongas only national news magazine, Matangi Tonga, may have to undergo ownership restructuring, if it wants to continue publishing.
The magazine is waiting for its licence to be re-issued, and has to abide by the new Media Operators Act which says no more than 20 per cent of a media company can be foreign-owned.
Matangi Tonga is currently 49 per cent owned by the British born wife of publisher/editor Pesi Fonua.
She has lived in Tonga for 20 years, but under the Act, is considered a foreigner.
Pacnews quotes Fonua as saying the directive is contrary to the governments desire to increase foreign investment in the country.
He says that on one hand, Tonga is looking for foreign investment and to become a member of the World Trade Organisation, but at the same, media operators are being told to reduce foreign ownership.
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