10 Aug 2010

New Pacific journalists' body to hold inaugural meeting tomorrow in Samoa

3:23 pm on 10 August 2010

Journalists from around the Pacific will meet in Samoa tomorrow to discuss the formation of a new body to promote and protect media freedom in the region.

The establishment of the group, with the working title, the Pacific Media Association, follows the failure by the Pacific Islands News Association, or PINA, to speak out on issues such as the Fiji media decree.

The group's spokesman Savea Sano Malifa, the editor in chief of the Samoa Observer newspaper, says media freedom and the free flow of information has not been fostered by PINA.

"What our worry is, is that the rights of journalists around the Pacific are respected by their governments; that they have a right to be journalists like all other journalists around the world; that they should not be threatened. This is what we are here for. We are not out to do any harm to PINA. Let them go ahead and do what they want."

Savea Sano Malifa says the inaugural meeting will focus on issues such as the name of the organisation, its constitution, the selection of board members and funding.