RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Pacific Freedom Forum / Pacific Media Watch): Pasifika journalists in New Zealand celebrating 10 years of better networking and a space to share their concerns have reached a regional milestone, says the Pacific Freedom Forum.
PFF joins other regional colleagues in congratulating the Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) for reaching a decade of networking and solidarity - marked by a dinner at an inner city restaurant attended by about 200 people.
“Already a minority in a country which has a strong Pacific population and is host the world’s largest Polynesian centre, a relatively small cadre of Pacific Islands journalists working in New Zealand have come through a tough decade for journalists, let alone New Zealand journalists and Pacific journalists. That is inspirational," says Papua New Guinea’s Titi Gabi, who chairs the regional media freedom network.
“PFF is not even half the age of PIMA. But the concerns over keeping professional standards in an industry facing high turnover and lack of interest as a long term career are shared. And the networking offered by linking with other journalists is definitely something which has marked the development of Pacific media in recent years."
The emergence and growth of institutions such as the Auckland University of Technology's Pacific Media Centre is helping to lead quality tertiary training and debates for Pacific journalists in New Zealand and the region, and continues to help boost membership and support for PIMA, says co-chair Monica Miller of American Samoa.
"We celebrate with our Pacific colleagues this week, and look forward to more shared efforts in future," she says.
Miller was among those attending the May 2011 UNESCO World Press Freedom Day regional events in Apia, where PIMA formed part of the inaugural membership of the Media Alliance of the Pacific.
The MAP grouping provides a common platform for the different Pacific regional media networks to come together on issues and concerns they share, such as media freedom and training actions.
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PIMA website: www.pima.co.nz
Pacific Media Centre website: www.pmc.aut.ac.nz