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- Sponsored : Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC)
The Pacific Freedom Forum(PFF) stands with our media colleagues around the world and more specifically in the Pacific to celebrate World Press Freedom Day.
Today, more than ever, we hope governments recognise and respect the tremendous effort by media professionals to disseminate information to the masses.
In the midst of a global pandemic, the role of the press has been crucial to the flow of Covid related information to our pacific people, by tackling misinformation and other harmful content.
“The Pandemic has shown them (governments) that the media is not their enemy. We need to work together in the fight against ignorance, hate speech and Covid.” states PFF Chair, Bernadette Carreon.
The press have a role to play and must be allowed to do their work safely without gags or threats, so that people get the information they need to make the best decisions otherwise fear mongering, lies and misinformation will spread.
“Not only do we want to remind governments of their duty to impart information and not hinder the public’s access to information, its just as important that we women and men of the media do our part to disseminate information without fear or favour, and without affiliation or interests to the subjects we report on.
Let us be responsible and ethical in carrying out our duties as journalists.” adds PFF co-chair, Monica Miller from Samoa.
Meanwhile, one of the hallmarks of a democratic society is free and independent media.
As they celebrate this year's World Press Freedom Day, with the theme “Information as a Public Good,” the Palau Media Council is calling on the government to champion free and independent media.
Palau Media Council calls on the government to ensure a fair playing field by providing equal access to all; public and private media.
This year’s theme serves as a call to the government to renew its commitment to supporting the media and the importance of information as a public good.
Palau Media Council has come a long way in covering and reporting local news, it has also put Palau’s name on the map for its independent reporting.
Freedom House has ranked Palau’s press freedom consistently in the top tier on its annual ranking. That high ranking is a result of the many independent media outlets operating in the nation.
“While we welcome a strengthened government media, independent media is crucial for a fully functioning democracy.
“As a group made up of small newsrooms and limited resources, we face losing our jobs or worse our companies due to challenging environment, including the pandemic, beefed-up government media, and a well-funded public communications corporation, leaving independent, media outlets behind.
“Today, we urge the government to respect the role of free and independent media in the nation’s democracy, which includes ensuring the economic viability of the private media.
“A state-run media strengthened through public funds can only give the public a one-sided view of information.
“Therefore, we call on the government for greater access and transparency, consistent with the Open Government Act.
“Press Freedom is also about providing the media with prompt and timely information.
“We urge this administration, including its gatekeepers to improve collaborative relationships with independent media.
“It’s time, for this administration to fulfill its promise of government transparency by supporting free and independent media,” said a statement from Palau Media Council.
Leilani Ngirturong Reklai was appointed as the new chairperson of the Palau Media Council.
SOURCE: PFF/PALAU MEDIA COUNCIL/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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