Pacific Media Freedom Defenders Join IFJ Meeting In Samoa

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) opened

a Media for Democracy and Human Rights in the Pacific regional meeting and training

workshop in Apia, Samoa,

on Wednesday.


In an opening event at

the Millenia Hotel, hosted by the Journalists’ Association of Samoa (JAWS),

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoiemphasised the value of media responsibility in the pursuit of

media freedom in the Pacific.


More than 30 leading

media practitioners from the Pacific island states of American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji,

Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Tuvalu are attending the four-day event in Samoa.


Regional organisations represented

include Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF) and the Pasifika Media Association (PasiMA),

with guests also including Australian Broadcasting

Corporation correspondent Sean Dorney and the editor-in-chief of the Samoa Observer Newspaper Group, Savea

Sano Malifa.


The event is the first

major regional activity in a two-year IFJ project, Media for Democracy and

Human Rights in the Pacific, which began in July.


The training workshops

and roundtable meeting bring together journalists, editors,

media freedom advocates, journalism educators and students to discuss the

status of media freedom across the Pacific.


Participants will join

workshops to develop and strengthen skills in monitoring and reporting on media

rights issues across Pacific

Island nations, while the

roundtable meeting will assess pressing issues regarding press freedom and

freedom of expression in the region, and develop a strategy to prepare the

inaugural Press Freedom in the Pacific report to be published in 2011.


“The training and

meeting of Pacific Island press freedom defenders is a significant opportunity

for media practitioners in the Pacific to work together to establish

region-wide systems for keeping a watch on media freedom issues,” IFJ General

Secretary Aidan White said.


“The IFJ is pleased to

work with region-based associates and organisations to contribute to the

continuing development in the Pacific of a strong and independent media, which

is the cornerstone of democracy.”


Media for Democracy and

Human Rights in the Pacific is supported by the European Commission (EC) and

UNESCO to bring together an enduring coalition of organisations and individuals

who will jointly promote and defend rights related to freedom of the media,

freedom of expression, access to information and the right to free association

across the Pacific.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919



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