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The ABC is keen to collaborate more with Pacific journalists says News Director Gaven Morris an he has asked them to hold him to account on building new media partnerships in the region.
It’s a very welcome initiative from Morris and from the ABC, which in the past 12 months has been preoccupied with budget cuts and Board/CEO woes, not to mention the recent AFP raid.
“It is time we collaborated more with all of you” Gaven Morris told 15 of the Pacific’s top journalists as he welcomed them last week to the ABC HQ in Ultimo. Together, the Pacific journalists represent hundreds of years of experience including at CEO and managing editor level.
They were joined by members of ABC senior management team and by ABC reporting staff including Pacific luminaries such as Evan Wasuka and Liam Fox.
Morris acknowledged earlier budget cuts had been a tough time for the ABC’s Asia Pacific services but said he is really keen to work with his teams to get the ABC back into in the game in the Pacific in a much more meaningful way.
“Having you all here is a reminder that it is time we got back to being a partner(with you) in the way we tell the Pacific story to people in Australia’ and to ‘people across the Pacific and, hopefully, to the broader world”.
“Hold me to that commitment. Hold the ABC to account in relation to how we get back into that game in a way that perhaps in the last few years we have not been nearly as productive and as present as we should be,” Morris said.
Tonga’s ground-breaking journalist Kalafi Moala told of his first collaboration with the ABC 28 years ago, which provided a much-needed daily news outlet to circumvent a Tongan government media blackout on reporting parliamentary debate about its illegal passport sales to Hong Kong citizens.
“We need you and you need us too,” the Times of Tonga founder told ABC managers as he called for collaboration on more projects.
“Media is so much more complex today than it was when we started out. ...We need your wisdom, we need your experience, we need your skills and you need us on the ground,” he said.
The ABC also has recently re-instated its Pacific song competition, the winner of which will perform at WOMADelaide 2020.
The Pacific journalists were in Sydney for a Pacific Economic and Business reporting colloquium and the launch of the new Training Grants Initiative for senior regional journalists wanting to run training for their peers.
The colloquium and Grants Initiative was funded by Australian aid the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) which is managed by ABC International Development.
SOURCE: SUPPORTERS OF ABC IN ASIA & PACIFIC/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media