PFF Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS-- News that the Kiribati newspaper at the centre of a Police
investigation has stopped printing means fewer ways for people there to stay informed says media watchdog the Pacific Freedom Forum, PFF.
Auckland-based Kiribati Independent publisher and editor Taberannang Korauaba will retain the online edition of the Independent but has stopped print circulation in Kiribati while Police follow up on complaints linking to the newspaper's registration status.
"The loss of their weekly news in print is a blow for readers in Kiribati who don’t have online access, and their leaders need to tell them why a government which has been sitting on media paperwork since last year, has suddenly been able to act so quickly to lay a complaint linked to that paperwork ," says PFF co chair Titi Gabi of PNG.
"Whose interest is being served here? Without a free media to give them answers, the public lose their right to know. "
"PFF reiterates concern over any political motivations behind the processing delays for the registration paperwork and hope the Police will help to quickly and fairly resolve the issue."
PFF co chair Monica Miller says given the current Police complaints stem from a lack of progress on a bureaucratic issue, Kiribati's media-savvy President should take the lead.
"Kiribati gave the Pacific the Biketawa principles on good governance, and a President who has taken the message to the world on sinking islands and climate change," she says. "As someone who uses media powerfully to talk about his people, we urge President Tong to uphold Biketawa's promise and give Kiribati the same free media he enjoys globally."--ENDS
Titi Gabi | Freelance Journalist | Papua New Guinea
Mail: PO Box 7776, Boroko, NCD, Papua New Guinea | Mob: (675) 7314 3929 | Email: email@example.com
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.