1 Nov 2004

PINA/PIBA merger finally completed

4:49 pm on 1 November 2004

The protracted merger of news organisations, the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) and the Pacific Islands Broadcast Association, has finally been completed.

Francis Herman, Vice President of the new body, which is retaining the name PINA, says the delay involved staffing issues, the administrative functions of the new organisation, and financial matters.

Mr Herman says the final agreement on the merger, which was first endorsed in March 2003, is a major milestone.

"Extremely excited. I think everyone's been pulling their hair out about the delays of the merger. Everyone's had their own agendas. And the agreement that we reached on Saturday took less than 10 minutes to agree on. And there's been a lot of misinformation about the merger, that's now sorted itself out."

France Herman says its hoped the merger of the two regional organizations will greatly benefit journalism training and media freedom in the region.

He says a memorandum of understanding for the merger is to be signed on November 17th.