NIUSbeatPACIFIC: Pacific Media Newsletter Inaugural Issue

Welcome to the inaugural

issue of a monthly media wrap up of happenings, events, information and

resources for Pacific journalists and media practitioners. Follow the latest

news on development trends, people on the move, agency and regional organisation

news and more. This regional media newsletter is aimed at keeping readers in

touch with the ‘Niusbeat’ in our Pacific community and we want to hear from you

– drop us a line for the March issue.





self censorship! New workshops for media: Self-censorship has been identified as a key threat to freedom of

expression and independent media in the Pacific. Understanding and supporting

media rights monitoring and reporting can help you understand and deal with

the self-censorship challenge. Funding is available under the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)

Asia-Pacific Media for Democracy and Human Rights in the

Pacific project supported by the European Union and UNESCO for local

workshops, which follow actions from the Samoa Regional Roundtable in 2010. Find

out more from IFJ Pacific Project Coordinator Lisa Williams-Lahari via



Freedom of Expression Global

Symposium: Australia's Martin Hadlow, of the University of

Queensland, and Brian Pauling from The New

Zealand Broadcasting School joined some 300 delegates from around the world on

January 26 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris for a global talkfest on Freedom of

Expression. Speakers discussed freedom of expression as a cornerstone of human

rights work, the need for open and participatory communication for successful

development, safety of media professionals and changes to the media landscape in

the digital age. See Verbatim (below) for our quote of the month, from UNESCO Director-General Irina






Monitoring Pacific media freedom: The Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF) called for more discussion in

Tuvalu in January, as its Government

implemented a Public Order Ordinance for the first time in the country’s

history. PFF also highlighted the need for a stronger media complaints processes

in Tonga, which was followed with a

supporting statement from the IFJ

Asia-Pacific. As 2010 closed, the Pacific Islands News

Association (PINA) issued a statement on Vanuatu's

Government’s media ban on entering parliament during a no-confidence motion. The

IFJ joined with its Australian affiliate, the Media, Entertainment & Arts

Alliance, in denouncing attacks on Wikileaks and supported a PFF statement on

PNG. In the Cooks, a defamation case brought by Norman George MP against

Cook Islands News cartoonist

‘Kata’ was thrown out of court.





Reuters Fellowship ”excellent” says Samoa

journalist: Reuters fellowships at

Oxford University for 2011/12 are open to Pacific journos with at least five

years’ experience in any medium with excellent written and spoken English.

Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, the 2009 recipient, said the Fellowship was an

“excellent experience”. “It gives journalists the chance to step back from the

daily news grind to concentrate on one aspect of the trade that we are

passionate about,” Jackson said. “Ultimately it is a time of

self-examination, extraordinary networking opportunities and

knowledge development. You come away feeling invigorated, and ready to delve

into journalism with renewed appreciation for it.” Applications for the current

round are open until February 9.







2011 review: The long-awaited return

of Australian aid funding for media, the Pacific

Media Assistance Scheme (PacMAS), is poised for July 2011. A

review process which began in 2010 is winding up, with an open call for comments

now circulating in Pacific media networks. Comments, questions and ideas to by February




Asia(Pacific) Media Summit wants

you: Do you have ideas,

research, or information on the Pacific broadcast industry?  The Asia Media

Summit 2011 is accepting papers until February 15. The two-day summit, themed

“Digital Media Everywhere: Repositioning Broadcasting”, takes Pacific

Broadcasters this year to Hanoi, Vietnam, in May.  The event,

organised by the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD),

hosts about 500 top-ranking broadcasters, decision makers, media professionals,

regulators, scholars, and stakeholders from the Pacific, Asia, Europe, Africa,

North America and the Middle East. Claim some Pacific space - submit your

abstract today!






Press Freedom Day 2011: Following on from the

UNESCO World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) 2010 event held for the first time in the

Pacific, the event moves to the United States. The Newseum in

Washington DC will host the first two days of the event,

with the WPFD prize to be announced at the National Press Club on May 3. This

year’s theme is “21st Century Media:

New Frontiers, New Barriers”.  Planning a WPFD event in

the Pacific? Let us know before February 28 and we’ll give it a plug in our next





2011 on Facebook:



Pacific Women in Media updates: GAP goes to the

UN: This month members of

the Pacific Gender Action Portal (GAP) head to the 55th United Nations global

gender meeting, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 55), to be held from

February 22 to March 4.  Tara Chetty will there to lead coverage for the Pacific

Gender Action Portal. The Pacific GAP was launched in 2010 at CSW 54, as an

online news and information resource driven by Pacific journos and media

activists on gender issues. The Pacific GAP gender news portal forms the online

archive for copy generated to Pacific newsrooms, and is managed by the Pacific

WAVE Media Network. Chetty, a USP journalism graduate, is currently studying

under an MA scholarship at Rutgers,

the State University of New Jersey. 





Media Resources Seminar in Auckland, NZ, Feb

10 – If you are amongst

those who regularly bemoan the lack Pacific-specific resources for our industry,

whinge no more: the Auckland-based media goldmine of resources that is the


Media Centre and Pasifika Journalism library

are holding a seminar on how users can optimise their time accessing the Centre

and Library resources, on the afternoon of February 10. Especially useful for

journalism staff and post-grads, the seminar program will introduce users to the

key features of the PMC’s revamped website.




Australian film scoops FIFO 2011: Pacific TV managers and film producers are winging their way home

from Tahiti, the host venue of the 8th Annual

Pacific documentary festival, FIFO. The annual event brings together the best

of Oceania-produced content and is a feast of Pacific stories and includes

workshops and seminars in production and film. For more news on FIFO and support

for documentary training in 2011, contact SPC Regional Media Centre team leader

Larry Thomas via email:






on the move: Literally the biggest

media move this year comes from the Pacific

Media Centre team, relocating from their


St premises next door to the Auckland University of

Technology (AUT) Tower, near Aotea

Square. Long-time journo Richard

Pamatatau is taking his experience to the next

generation, as a lecturer in AUT's School of Communication

Studies, teaching a new Graduate Diploma in Pacific

Journalism. Top Fiji

journalist Sophie

Foster sparked a storm of Facebook well wishes when

she made the big move from Suva to Brisbane's Courier-Mail after resigning in the wake

of last year’s sale of TheFiji Times. Meanwhile, The Fiji Times has a new publisher,

Brian O'Flaherty, following the

departure of Dallas Swinstead at

the end of January. In the Cook Islands, Pitt

Media Group's Trevor Pitt makes an

impact as Editor/Trainer for the TV

news team after the 2010 election and Cook

Islands News is advertising for senior journos following the

departure of top duo Martin Tiffany and


Greig. Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson resigned from the position of Pacific

Media Rights Monitor to concentrate on climate change

journalism in the Pacific. In Tuvalu, we welcome back


Ta'ape into the General Manager position at Tuvalu

Broadcasting Corporation, from her sabbatical in NZ in 2010. In

Kiribati, the Broadcasting

Authority national radio and Te Uekera newspaper service is poised to

name its new General Manager. There's always new moves in Pacific media - let us

know by dropping a line to -

our best NIUSbeat wishes go out to all of our Pacific media colleagues who are

taking their work in new directions.



Verbatim: “George Orwell once

wrote that ‘if liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people

what they do not want to hear’. Freedom of expression means, indeed, the right

to inform, whatever the context is, however difficult the situation might be.

Protecting this fundamental human right is a process without an end. The case

must be continually argued, violation of this right should never be accepted,

and States and societies have to be helped to move forward. That is why we are

here.” - UNESCO Director General Irina




On the

NIUSbeat: Got something you want

to share with other Pacific newshounds and media workers? Want to guest-edit a

NIUSbeat edition? Feel there's something missing or want to contribute under any

of the above headings? Drop the NIUSbeatPACIFIC editor a line at Deadline for March 3 Issue: 28th February




NIUSbeatis part of the IFJ

Asia-Pacific project, Media for Democracy and Human Rights in

the Pacific, supported by the European Union and UNESCO IPDC. The IFJ represents more

than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries. Find the IFJ on Twitter:

@ifjasiapacific or on Facebook here