Wednesday, 6 May 2009

pacnews should move from fiji - pff



Regional news service PACNEWS should move from Fiji to reassert independence following emergency regulations cracking down on all outlets.


Delegates to a UNESCO supported workshop on freedoms of expression, information and media heard questions raised today about the future of PACNEWS.


"I think it should move, definitely," said Taime o Tonga publisher Kalafi Moala.


Journalism lecturer David Robie told the meeting there was precedence for moving Pacnews, following its relocation to Vanuatu during the first Fiji coup in 1987.


Fiji Times editor Netani Rika said there was support for the idea of moving PACNEWS given control by military appointed newsroom censors.


But he said questions over the future of the secretariat for Pacnews owner PINA were for members of the Pacific Islands News Association to decide.


"I think that PACNEWS should move as a first step but PINA should make its own mind up."


PINA holds its next biennual meeting in July this year.


However questions remain over membership in PINA, with the secretariat so far failing to respond to industry inquiries about fees and other details.


National Media Associations representative at PINA Cherelle Jackson raised the PACNEWS question at the start of discussions at a three day meeting initiated by the Pacific Freedom Forum, a new advocacy group started by regional media less than a year ago.



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