10 Aug 2010

Pacific media groups gather in Samoa

10:02 am on 10 August 2010

Pacific independent media owners and editors will meet in Samoa tomorrow to form an association that will aim to protect and expand media freedom in the region.

The group's spokesman, Savea Sano Malifa, says the move comes at a time when media freedom in the Pacific is under constant and increasing threat.

Savea, the editor in chief and proprietor of the only daily newspaper in Samoa, says there is total censorship of the media in Fiji and there are moves to introduce that also in Tonga.

He says the gathering was the culmination of two months of talks and the group has the working title of the Pacific Media Association.

The name may change as a result of tomorrow's but he says it's already clear the core values of media freedom, transparency, good governance and accountability will not.

The inaugural meeting will have representatives from Cook Islands, Fiji, Hawai'i, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Expressions of interest in the new association have also been received from Australia, New Zealand and French Polynesia.