Sunday, 5 May 2013

Pacific Media ombudsman advances regional accountability

News media across the region move into an era of advanced accountability with adoption last week of a concept for a Pacific Media Ombudsman.

Media organisations from five key Pacific nations yesterday agreed to the plan following talks in Honiara, Solomon Islands marking World Press Freedom Day today.

“All members of the public including governments of the day and other governance sectors can anticipate significantly enhanced accountability from member news media,” says PFF Chair Titi Gabi, from Papua New Guinea.

“This marks the first time that island press have agreed to an independent regional body to monitor and review public complaints against news stories and other media content.”

A Pacific Media Ombudsman is intended to act as a backstop to existing media associations that address journalism ethics and other issues of public interest.

“Attempts have previously been made to introduce media councils at the national level in countries like the Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu,” says Gabi.

“However industry disputes and political pressures have often combined to interrupt the progress of media accountability systems inside national borders.”

Establising a regional media watchdog will help ensure continuity of mechanisms to handle public complaints and concerns about news media.

“This year's official theme for World Press Freedom Day is encouraging public spaces where people are 'safe to speak' on issues of the day”, says Gabi.

“Media accountability systems like the PMO concept help build credibility for news media and creates an environment where media freedoms are respected rather than rejected and, sometimes, assaulted.”

Representatives from media organisations in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga and attended the Honiara PFF talks, with additional support from non-attending delegates in Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

PFF was founded in Samoa 2009 with a mission to promote awareness and support for article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, dating from 1946.


Discussion of Pacific media ombudsman on World Press Freedom Day

Pacific media groups agree to establish a Pacific Media Ombudsman

Pacific media ombudsman aimed at instilling confidence

Press Freedom Day hears calls for Pacific media Ombudsman

Pacific media ombudsman endorsed

Pacific Freedom Forum say there is good support for a Pacific Media Ombudsman



PFF Chair Titi Gabi | Freelance Journalist | Papua New Guinea  | +67573143929 |

PFF co-Chair Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | American Samoa | + 6842584197 |

PFF coordinator Jason Brown | Pasifika media | Aotearoa, New Zealand | +642102484560 | 


 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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