ENTERTAINMENT | Island News

Media owner encourages other journalists to buy up

By SARAH VAMARASI Wansolwara/Pacific Media Centre Sarah Vamarasi is a reporter on Wansolwara, the student journalism newspaper published by the University of the South Pacific. Pacific perspectives and values must
09 Apr 2012 11:54

Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Information Sharon Smith-Johns (front/second from left) at the PINA Summit in Pacific Harbour, Deuba, Fiji.

By SARAH VAMARASI
Wansolwara/Pacific Media Centre

Sarah Vamarasi is a reporter on Wansolwara, the student journalism newspaper published by the University of the South Pacific.

Pacific perspectives and values must be inculcated in the region’s journalists if there is to be a truly independent media culture, says a prominent broadcaster and publisher in Fiji, who encouraged fellow journalists to buy into media organisations.
Father John Lamani, who owns the Solomon Star newspaper and Paoa FM, said the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) should take the lead in this regard.

Unique perspective
“True media freedom can only happen if we see news from our own perspective and not the western values we were taught in school,” he said.
“PINA can build a healthy and responsible media culture when we train our own journalists and use them.”
He was speaking as keynote speaker at PINA’s Pacific Media Summit at the Lagoon Resort in Pacific Harbour Fiji in March.
He encouraged the region’s journalists to become media owners. This, he said, would ensure media control was not in the hands of donors.
Call for PINA support
Father Lamani also called on the region’s media to support PINA.
He said the debate on whether the PINA secretariat should be moved out of Fiji had little relevance and that the real question of an effective association was determined by the support of its members.
“The summit will give us an opportunity once again to critically examine the challenges facing the media industry in our region.”
He stressed the need for continued dialogue and challenged members to honestly analyse themselves on whether they had done enough to promote an independent media in the region.



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