Friday, March 27, 2015
French Polynesia President Édouard Fritch being interviewed by Tahiti Nui Television. Photo / Tahiti Info
Friday, 27th March 2015,
Rarotonga, Cook Islands
– for immediate release :
. . .
French Polynesia deserves praise for openly debating media freedom concerns, says the Pacific Freedom Forum.
"Open letters between media and government are valuable opportunities for constructive debate," says PFF Chair Titi Gabi.
"Too often, media freedom concerns are completely ignored by governments," says Gabi.
Earlier this month global press freedom body, Reporters sans frontières, wrote an open letter after a presidential speech calling on media to show "loyalty".
Also known as Reporters Without Borders, RSF urged government to respect the independence of news media.
President Édouard Fritch responded with his own open letter, saying his call for loyalty was directed towards respect for the country, not the administration.
RSF also said that economic difficulties that saw the closure of a newspaper was causing self-censorship and called for more government support.
In response, President Fritch said government was already offering subsidies and tax relief as a part of French national law.
He pointed to difficulties balancing a respect for journalistic independence, and offering more support.
PFF co-Chair Monica Miller says the difficulties in Tahiti show the need for sustained discussion between media and government.
"Those difficulties raise important question about state support for public and private media, towards their future survival."
Miller says that news media in French Polynesia and across the region face many economic problems, and their role needs to be discussed much more at official levels.
This highlighted the need for media there and elsewhere to also treat their own problems as a valid news story, alongside the legislature, executive and judiciary.
Reporters sans frontières s'inquiète pour la liberté de la presse au fenua
Liberté de la presse : Edouard Fritch répond à Reporters sans frontières
Reporters Without Borders is concerned about freedom of the press in Tahiti
Press freedom: Edouard Fritch responds to Reporters Without Borders
PFF Chair Titi Gabi | GM PNG Loop | Papua New Guinea Mail: PO Box 7776, Boroko, NCD, Papua New Guinea | Mob: (675) 7314 3929 | Email:email@example.com
PFF co-Chair Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob (684) 258-4197 | Office (684) 633-7793 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PFF Editor Jason Brown | Aotearoa New Zealand | Mob: +(64) 224340831 | Email email@example.com
The Pacific Freedom Forum are a regional and global online network of Pacific media colleagues, with the specific intent of raising awareness and advocacy of the right of Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free and independent media. We believe in the critical and basic link between these freedoms, and the vision of democratic and participatory governance pledged by our leaders in their endorsement of the Pacific Plan and other commitments to good governance. In support of the above, our key focus is monitoring threats to media freedom and bringing issues of concern to the attention of the wider regional and international community.
. . .