The Pacific Island Forum Secretary General, Greg Urwin, says the media is essential to the promotion of greater accountability and better governance in the region.
His comments come after the region's two main media organisations - the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) and the Pacific Islands Broadcasting Association (PIBA) - officially merged today in a brief ceremony at the Forum Secretariat.
Mr Urwin says an important role for the media is to shine a light on the proper use, or otherwise, of public funds and public assets.
However he says in holding leaders and citizens to higher standards, the media need to also encourage higher standards not just in the media, but in other sectors of the community.
Mr Urwin says a unified PINA is an excellent example of regional cooperation and the pooling of resources and he says it will strengthen the efforts by the Pacific Islands media to provide a greater service to the public in our communities.