PFF, Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS -- A newly-formed Pacific regional network for Public Service Broadcasters is a positive move for the industry and Pacific audiences, says regional media monitoring network the Pacific Freedom Forum, PFF.
State-owned broadcasters from Vanuatu, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands launched the new group from their inaugural meeting in Port Vila this month.
"The history of Pacific media and public information has its roots in Public service broadcasting and this move from government stakeholders is a sign that public service broadcasting is getting some renewed attention," says PFF acting chair Monica Miller, of American Samoa.
"Public service broadcasting is people-service broadcasting, and has a special mandate to ensure it gives voice and participation to the silent," she says.
Market competition from commercial broadcasters, shrinking revenues for program production, staffing and technical standards, and resources to handle the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting are key priorities for the new network.
"We especially welcome any moves to address the levels of public confidence in state-owned media through guidelines and protocols which better define the roles of managing boards, and limit government interference," says Miller.
"Our news colleagues in public service broadcasters receive the same media ethics and news training as their colleagues anywhere else. It's important that we are all clear on standards, rights and rresponsibilities so they are able to maintain editorial independence as the best way to serve the public interest. And they should be able to do so without second guessing how political leaders may react to their work, and the flow on impacts for their jobs and families," she says.
"PFF looks forward to working with the new group to help strengthen free expression by Pacific people via the media systems which are managed in their interest," she says.
CONTACT: PFF Acting Chair Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob 684 258-4197 | Office 684 633-7793 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Pacific Freedom Forum are a regional and global online network of Pacific media colleagues, with the specific intent of raising awareness and advocacy of the right of Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free and independent media. We believe in the critical and basic link between these freedoms, and the vision of democratic and participatory governance pledged by our leaders in their endorsement of the Pacific Plan and other commitments to good governance. In support of the above, our key focus is monitoring threats to media freedom and bringing issues of concern to the attention of the wider regional and international community.