PasiMA Reaffirms Support for Press Freedom, Independent Media

Apia, Samoa – The Pasifika Media Association’s Board of Directors has reaffirmed its support of media freedom during its meeting this week in Vaitele.

PasiMA is also united in its support of the regional media’s need to be independent in the carrying out of its duties in the public interest.

During their deliberations, board members reached agreement on a number of decisions about ongoing and future projects, and a timetable for PasiMA’s first Annual General Meeting was set.

In re-confirming their strong commitment to media freedom, the board made it clear that they are focused on providing a broad base of support for the region’s independent media.

“That is what we are committed to,” board chairman and editor in chief of the Samoa Observer, Savea Sano Malifa, said. “We cannot waver.”

PasiMA’s current e-learning journalism training course, Pasifika Trainer, was discussed in depth after a presentation by the lead course developers, David Leeming and Dev Nadkarni.

Mr. Leeming demonstrated the various platforms and applications that are being utilized in creating Pasifika Trainer’s dynamic interactive learning environment, while Mr. Nadkarni introduced the draft course content to be included in Pasifika Trainer’s three modules.

The course content is geared towards working journalists and media business operators and incorporates critical information on investigative reporting (PasifikaReporter), running a modern media business (PasifikaMediaManager) and tools for the emerging mobile media (e-Pasifika).

In other board business, financial reports were submitted and approved, and plans for PasiMA’s upcoming “This is My Village” project, focusing on empowering hyper-local community media to participate in a regional independent media network, were drafted.

PasiMA’s vision of serving the region’s independent media by providing significant and essential support across a range of needs will be implemented by a number of new projects that were discussed and moved forward into the planning phase.

The board also set forth plans for PasiMA’s first Annual General Meeting, to be held in Samoa in 2013.

Members will be able to participate either in person or via a virtual meeting environment that will be developed for this event, making it possible for more people across the Pacific to participate.

Funded by the British government, PasiMA’s e-learning journalism course being developed is expected to be launched before the end of the year.

“We are very grateful to the British government for its financial support for this project,” Savea said.

He added:  “We have no doubt that once the course is up and running, it will help significantly in enhancing the promotion of press freedom and the public’s right to know in our part of the world.”

PasiMA Vice Chairman Kalafi Moala, who also attended the meeting, commented that, “One of the distinctive features of PasiMA is its representation and stand for independent media and media freedom. The reaffirmation of these features in Apia at our board meeting was such a blessing to me.”

The PasiMA board meeting was attended by representatives from Tonga, Hawaii, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, and Samoa. It ended on Thursday.