16 Apr 2008

Summit in Samoa to consider how to advance public broadcasting

1:54 pm on 16 April 2008

A Pacific media and human rights summit getting underway in Samoa tomorrow will consider ways to further public broadcasting.

The two day meeting will also look at coverage of children's rights and the environment.

The summit comes at a time when public broadcasting in several countries in the region is under pressure.

The meeting is being backed by the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and this country's Pacific Cooperation Foundation.

One of the summit's organisers, Human Rights commissioner, Judy McGregor, believes that reaffirming the importance of public broadcasting would be a fantastic outcome as the relationship with politicans in many areas can be rocky

"We do think there needs to be stronger voice around what it is to be a public interest broadcaster in the Pacific and why that's valuable, why it's valuable for politics and why it's valuable for people. The more discussion there is around the issue, the better it is for journalists in terms of their working conditions and relationships with politicians."

Judy McGregor hopes the summit will provide public broadcasters with some practical models and that politicians will take note of what is included in the final communique.