The launch of a new Pacific media body this week has been welcomed by regional media freedom watchdog the Pacific Freedom Forum. The Pacific Media Association, or PacMA, features former PINA executive members and media freedom awardees in its new leadership, who launched PacMA this week in Samoa after hosting their inaugural meeting.
"The work of promoting, monitoring and reporting media freedom requires many hands," says PFF Chair, Susuve Laumaea of Papua New Guinea, "and the PFF operates as an online network with a specific focus on media freedom alerts and advocacy of UNDHR Article 19. The broader context of training and promotion of standards and ethics by more regional colleaguesis more than welcome."
"We stand by ready to engage and partner with Pacific news leaders who are already involved with the Pacific Freedom Forum," he says. "Through our shared goals, membership and resources, the task of networking, monitoring and reporting threats to a free media can be better shared by more media workers."
The PFF Chair has confirmed a partnership on monitoring media freedom is to be formally offered to the new regional association. The same partnership offer to assist and build on monitoring threats amongst the Pacific countries has been sitting without a reply from the PINA executive for more than a year. Hints of high-level political support for a Samoa-based regional body followed the departure from PINA of the Vice-President John Woods, in July 2010.
"It's heartening to see the support shown the inaugural commendation of the regional organisation by Samoa's Prime Minister and leaders of development corps. It speaks well of the recognition of the link between media standards, governance work, and thriving democracies," says PFF co-chair Monica Miller, of American Samoa.
"The establishment of PacMA reiterates the sense of solidarity amongst Pacific media which PFF strives to support through its own monitoring work. The recent announcement by the IFJ of its Pacific Media and Human Rights monitoring project also adds to the signs that monitoring and reporting of press freedom violations in the Pacific is stepping up to the next level. And Pacific media practitioners must be the ones taking it there."--ENDS
PFF interim Chair Susuve Laumaea | Sunday Chronicle Newspaper | Papua New Guinea Mobile: 675-684 5168 | Office: 675-321-7040 | Email: email@example.com PFF interim co-Chair Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob 684 258-4197 | Office 684 633-7793 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pacific Freedom Forum are a regional and global online network of Pacific media colleagues, with the specific intent of raising awareness and advocacy of the right of Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free and independent media. We believe in the critical and basic link between these freedoms, and the vision of democratic and participatory governance pledged by our leaders in their endorsement of the Pacific Plan and other commitments to good governance. In support of the above, our key focus is monitoring threats to media freedom and bringing issues of concern to the attention of the wider regional and international community.
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