3 May 2012

Press freedom fragile in Pacific region says academic

9:29 am on 3 May 2012

The author of a report on Pacific Media Freedom says press freedom is very fragile in the region.

David Robie, also the head of the New Zealand based Pacific Media Centre, is launching a status report on media freedom in the Pacific today.

He says while currently Fiji, Papua New Guinea and West Papua are facing the biggest challenges, it's fragile throughout the region.

"There's a general mindset among Pacific politicians by and large, they don't have a high regard for the press or the media generally, they reluctantly are happy enough to have the media on their side particularly in the larger countries where the media is a lot more developed when they're in opposition and of course when they're in power, they're just as antagonistic with the media as any other politicians."

David Robie says even following media censorship being lifted, Fiji is currently facing a period of rampant self-censorship.

He says because Fiji is so important, economically and politically to the rest of the region, there's a danger that mindset can be exported to other countries.