Edited by Kasun Ubayasiri, Faith Valencia-Forrester, David Robie, Philip Cass and Nicole Gooch
The sovereign states of Melanesia are countries where the yoke of colonialism and struggles for independence are still within living memory. There are territories within Melanesia where the questions and complexities associated with achieving self-determination are very much live issues. In West Papua, this issue is one over which blood continues to be spilt. As these countries, and the communities within them, grapple with political-economic and technical shifts, the need for independent journalism is self-evident. However, journalists, editors, publishers and media owners face a barrage of challenges to their ability to operate free from repression or coercion by those who wield power in their societies. This special issue of Pacific Journalism Review on Media Freedom in Melanesia draws upon a growing need to discuss media freedom in the region - a distinct sub-region of Oceania that comprises the autonomous region of Bougainville, Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, the Torres Strait Islands and West Papua. The core of the papers was delivered at the Melanesia Media Freedom Forum (MMFF) conference in Brisbane, Queensland, on 11-12 November 2019.
This is the 26th year of publication of Pacific Journalism Review.