27 Jul 2009

Pacific Islands News Association summit gets underway in Vanuatu

6:17 am on 27 July 2009

The biannual meeting of the Pacific Islands News Association has opened in Vanuatu which the organisers have dubbed the inaugural Pacific Media Summit.

The gathering coincides with the crisis in Fiji where the media is faced with restrictions not seen in the region for more than 20 years.

Walter Zweifel reports from Port Vila.

"Delegates have discussed media issues, ranging from basic broadcasting transmission problems to ways of coping with technological change, blogging and the censorship now currency in Fiji. In his address, the Vanuatu prime minister, Edward Natapei, invoked his aspirations for a better flow of information to boost development. But he went on to say that depending on the definition, all countries in the Pacific are now democratic states. The Pacific Media Summit has no representatives from the French territories, sealing the failure of the co-operation efforts spawned by the last PINA summit in Vanuatu 12 years ago."