Strong Regional Support for Press Freedom at Pacific Meeting

The International Federation of Journalists

(IFJ) welcomes the strong support for press freedom recently expressed at Pacific Media Rising: Shaping New Futures

for Media, Voice and Accountability, a regional media roundtable meeting held

in Honiara, Solomon Islands from October 19 to 21.

 

The roundtable meeting is the second to be held by the IFJ in the

region, following a meeting of journalists and press freedom activists in Apia,

Samoa last year.

 

This year’s roundtable, attended by regional journalists,

civil society representatives and donors, had the dual objectives of

strengthening monitoring of media freedoms in the Pacific, and strengthening

the role of media as partners essential to accountable, transparent governance and

sustainable development in Pacific nations.

 

The event incorporated a training workshop on journalism

in the public interest for Pacific journalists and a parallel media partners’

forum for development and civil society organisations, and community media

networks. The roundtable culminated in a joint plenary of both groups on the

final day, aimed at discussing strategies for progressing press freedom in the

Pacific.

 

The roundtable discussions saw widespread

support for continued efforts to protect and promote press freedom in the

region. Codes of ethics, freedom of information laws, the growth of citizen

journalism and the current situation for journalists in

Fiji were all identified as areas of interest. 

 

In his opening address to the roundtable,

Solomon Islands Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga said: “Any violation on

media freedom and freedom of expression by governments, businesses and

individuals is undemocratic and that kind of attitude should be discouraged.

 

“Any actions and decisions that infringe

these fundamental democratic principles is a violation of human rights.”

 

The IFJ welcomes Maelanga’s comments and

commends the Solomon Islands Government for its statement of support for press

freedom, and encourages other governments in the Pacific to similarly affirm

their commitment to these principles.

 

“The IFJ is committed to working with media

and other stakeholders in the region as they engage with new political

challenges and emerging technologies in pursuit of quality independent,

journalism,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

For further information contact IFJ

Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000

journalists in 131 countries

 

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

Find the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific