JAWS members at a WPFD event, now deregistered.
Rarotonga, Cook Islands -
Regional media monitoring the Pacific Freedom Forum has welcomed news that Samoa's media body will be re-registered before the end of the year.
Jaws is the Journalists Association of (Western) Samoa, one of the region’s oldest bodies, registered 1st September 1991.
News that JAWS was deregistered came as a shock to regional media colleagues as the details behind the move were unclear.
"JAWS is seen by Pacific colleagues as a leading national media association and its active and feisty membership has set a standard many smaller nations can only dream of," said PFF chair Titi Gabi.
"While we welcome news of paperwork and other details being the focus of a new revised JAWS, we remain cautious over the state plans to legislate on media complaints and await further information in that area."
The PFF position supported by regional and global development partners calls for independent journalism and reporting in the public interest.
PFF launched a concept for a Pacific regional media Ombudsman in May and has already seen interest from five Pacific countries in the notion of a regional ethics and standards watchdog.
The concept will be discussed at a Pacific broadcasters meeting this month in Vanuatu, and is also being researched as part of a scoping study involving PFF, UNESCO and the UNDP Pacific.
"It's important that where possible, our national bodies such as JAWS be fostered to promote media autonomy and integrity....and that where the media industry may be unable to self-regulate because of size and interest, an effective and supported regional mechanism can help out," said PFF Co-chair, Monica Miller.
Papua New Guinea
ABOUT PFF :
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.
We are registered as an incorporated society in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
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