A watchdog says the Pacific Islands Forum and future hosts of the annual leaders' summit need to realise the role the media plays in society.
The Pacific Freedom Forum's comments came after reports that a journalist was manhandled by a police officer at the Forum meeting in Apia early this month.
The Freedom Forum said the latest incident follows decades of complaints of media mistreatment.
Its chair, Monica Miller, said forum organisers often treated the media with disdain, and it needed to be seen in a different light.
"The media are really representing the people," Ms Miller said.
"You sit at these meetings and language itself is over your head and all these consultants are there and you wonder how much of what is discussed and what filters back is really important and applicable to the person in their small village but we are there to report to the taxpayers, to the people who vote these people in."