The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in partnership with the Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF) today released its first Press Freedom in the Pacific report, titled ‘Fragile Freedom’, at a press launch held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, to celebrate World Press Freedom Day – May 3.
The report has been produced with the generous financial support of the European Commission (EC), and is the result of consultation with local journalists held during workshops and meetings throughout the Pacific, and the collation of contributions from twelve of the region’s island nations.
Chapters cover American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, French Polynesia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.
Each chapter assesses the major challenges to media freedom in a specific Pacific Island State and outlines past and future trends. This includes the identification and assessment of cases of violations of media freedom, including censorship and attacks on journalists and media workers. A number of recommendations are also made for the improved defence and promotion of press freedom in the region.
The report highlights the positive value of press freedom, and its significance as a fundamental tenet of stable and peaceful pluralistic and democratic societies.
The IFJ launched the report in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, with Prime Minister John O’Neill in attendance, as part of a three day activity to mark World Press Freedom Day which also included training for 25 local Papua New Guinean journalists on association building and electoral reporting.
The report was produced as part of IFJ’s Media for Democracy and Human Rights in the Pacific project, which aims to strengthen the role of media workers, press freedom advocates and civil society actors in defending and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Pacific.
IFJ urges journalists’ associations and civil society organisations across the region to use the report as a resource to support their own ongoing advocacy and campaigning actions in this regard.
The Press Freedom in the Pacific report is now available on the IFJ website.