Friday, February 15, 2013

Media freedom in the Pacific - the threats exposed

Fiji Times editor Fred Wesley talking in the Media Freedom in the Pacific documentary. Image: Café Pacific
THREATS to the media have got a strong airing in a new 23-minute documentary, Media Freedom on the Pacific, from the University of the South Pacific journalism programme.

Funded by the International Federation of Journalists and initiated by the Pacific Freedom Forum, the USP crew has interviewed many editors, journalists, media advocates and educators around the region, including PFF’s coordinator Lisa Williams-Lahari, Pacific Media Watch co-founder and Café Pacific publisher David Robie, Fiji Times editor Fres Wesley, Vanuatu Independent’s Hilaire Bule, Taimi ‘o Tonga’s publisher Kalafi Moala, Savali’s Tupuola Terry Tevita of Samoa, Blaire Philips of Oceania TV in Palau, NBC’s Janet Kwalahu of Papua New Guinea, investigative journalist Haivetia Kivia of the PNG Post-Courier, Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) president Moses Stevens and Vanuatu Media Association president Evelyne Toa.

The programme also features what was believed to be the last major media interview with veteran Solomon Star publisher John Lamani before he died last year.

All the interviews were conducted at PINA's Second Pacific Media Industry Summit at Pacific Harbour, Fiji, last March.

The programme was directed and produced by US television media educator Don Pollock, scripted by Pollock and Sorariba Nash, edited and narrated by USP’s Radio Pasifik manager Semi Francis with interviews by Pollock and Radio Djiido’s Magalie Tingal.

The documentary complements an eight-minute video on Pacific media freedom made by the Pacific Media Centre for UNESCO World Press Freedom Day and shown at a New Zealand seminar and in Fiji in 2012.

Student journalist Jordan Puati interviewed New Zealand-based Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) chair Iulia Leilua, TVNZ Tagata Pasifika reporter John Pulu and Pacific Media Watch editor Alex Perrottet.

The programme was directed by Danni Mulrennan and produced by the PMC's David Robie.

A high resolution version of the USP video can be obtained by contacting Semi Francis

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