Pacific media pushing investigative reporting

The PasiMA board and project team members on board the Maori waka Te Aurere.

Auckland – A web-based training programme for Pacific media has been commissioned by the Pasifika Media Association (PasiMA).

This follows a three-day board meeting in Auckland this week where the one-year-old organization charted the course for its training programme, funded by a $100,000 grant from the British High Commission in the Solomon Islands.

The training resources will be designed to support Pacific media operators and journalists with enhanced real-world skills, particularly in the fields of media business management, investigative journalism and multimedia platforms.

PasiMA board members from Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands and Hawaii met to agree on structure and content for the training programme, which will be rolled out by late 2012.

The web-based training resource programme is designed for PasiMA member organisations and individuals, and is being built by a team of Pacific regional members and advisors.

PasiMA chairman Savea Sano Malifa, proprietor of the Samoa Observer, said the proposed training course is exciting because it will strengthen the role of member organisations in delivering robust journalism and combating corruption and resistance to transparency and openness in public institutions and governments.

PasiMA’s board held a number of side meetings with potential partners and allies such as the Pacific Media Centre attached to the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), and the New Zealand –based Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA).

The board and guest observers supporting the work of PasiMA also spent an afternoon visiting the Auckland Maritime Museum and sailing aboard the double-hulled Maori waka Te Aurere.

Savea said the waka experience was symbolic of the organisation’s mission to unify media around the Pacific and its ongoing journey to combine and strengthen news media in the 20-plus countries of the region.

PasiMA has also identified priorities for the immediate future, such as building corporate and individual membership and offering a regional news service.

It is also planning approaches to a variety of regional organizations with the aim of establishing memorandums of understanding that will lead to provision of PasiMA reporting and coverage of events such as regional leaders meetings, trade promotion and co-operation with government and non-government initiatives in areas such as internet development, culture and arts.

For more information contact Savea Sano Malifa at saveamalifa@gmail.com.