23 Dec 2011

PINA says it's working with the Fiji regime to convince it to lift media bans

6:13 pm on 23 December 2011

The Pacific Islands News Association or PINA says it is still striving to defend media freedom in the region, despite one of its members cutting ties.

The Journalists Association of Samoa has ended its membership with the Fiji-based PINA, saying the body no longer secures media freedom in the region.

A spokesperson for PINA Matai Akauola says it is trying to gain media freedom whilst maintaining a relationship with the military government in Fiji which is enforcing media censorship.

"The PINA board at the AGM in Vanuatu has decided that PINA has to dialogue with governments, whether it be restrictive governments or governments that are free. We have to have dialogue rather than just a matter of putting out media statements in regards to media freedom. So the stance that the PINA board at the PINA AGM have decided that PINA needs to get a new face and engage with governments and in securing freedom for its members."

Matai Akauola says PINA is moving forward and believes it is at the forefront of dealing with media censorship in Fiji through its engagement with the interim regime.