Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Free and independent media is key in a democracy

Pacific Island Forum Secretary-General Henry Puna says a free and independent media is the cornerstone of thriving and healthy democracies.

In a statement released by the Pacific Islands Forum marking World Media Freedom Day, Puna said this is an opportunity to acknowledge the role of journalists whose first role is to uphold the news creed- to tell the truth without fear or favour, to serve the public interest and to hold power to account.

Puna said for Forum leaders, the primacy and importance of independent reporting and communication of Forum decisions goes back to our beginnings – One of the key decisions in those early years more than five decades ago was the mandate to communicate, recognizing the benefits of sharing information about the Leaders meetings and decisions.

“The Pacific Islands Forum notes its strong relationship with Pacific media continues to this day. Across our key regional Leader meetings, we actively partner with and brief news journalists to ensure quality reporting of the issues shaping our world. We recognize that editorial independence and quality journalism rely on strong access to facts, information, and certainty.”

Puna also highlighted that the watchdog and public interest role of the press as the fourth estate complementing the other three – the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary, has never been more important to public accountability, transparency, and good governance.

“Today we can all celebrate the independence and impact of quality news journalism led by news and media practitioners across the Pacific and globally. Despite often harsh work conditions, they continue a vocation for a news agenda of truth, transparency, and accountability.”

“Today, I join those who pay tribute to all journalists who frame the stories of our times in the values of truth, balance, and our collective right to know,” Puna added.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist |


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