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,
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
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.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 125 countries
IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific