PACIFIC FREEDOM FORUM
PACIFIC FREE SPEECH AND MEDIA FREEDOM continues to rest with individuals who stand up to defend those rights, says regional media freedom watchdog the Pacific Freedom Forum.
PFF chair Titi Gabi of Papua New Guinea noted that reality when she called for a minutes silence at an editors forum on media ethics and elections held yesterday in Port Moresby.
The silence honoured Yehiura Hriehwazi, one of PNG’s leading journalists, who died suddenly in January.
Hriehwazi was a fearless advocate for stronger investigative journalism and a founding member of the Pacific Freedom Forum. A print journalist who began his career with the Post Courier in 1981, he reached senior management level in a career which took him around the world.
Ms Gabi, who has initiated a national media workers union to refocus attention on the Pacific's largest country-level industry group, says the current outreach drive of PNG Media Workers Association has revealed that journalists continue to feel isolated and alone when threats occur to their journalism practice, livelihoods or personal safety.
"Levels of self-censorship, depending on where journalists live, continue to be a strong threat to media freedom in our part of the world. What we are seeing at regional and national level is a growing awareness that we can be stronger with a unified voice -- and today is a timely moment to honour Pacific colleagues who have paved the way." she said.