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Media freedom in the Pacific: A COVID-19 era update
An engaging discussion between practitioners and informed experts will consider the latest developments regarding media freedom in the Pacific region. Pacific Island countries have varying levels of media freedom. An ability for the mainstream media to conduct enquiries without hindrance or fear of reprisal is an important element of a democracy. To what extent are journalists able to carry out their work in the Pacific? Have emergency measures designed to address the COVID-19 pandemic created obstacles for reporters on the ground? Economic downturns have occurred, caused by pandemic response measures, such as the sudden halting of inbound tourism into the region. Have news media outlets experienced decreases in advertising revenue? What effect has this had on news-gathering capabilities? Have economic pressures led to the closure of media outlets? The discussion will aim to address these questions and more. This seminar will provide attendees with up-to-date insights about what is happening on the ground with respect to media freedom in Pacific Island countries.

Convenor
James Batley
Distinguished Policy Fellow, Department of Pacific Affairs

Moderator
Dr Amanda H A Watson
Research Fellow, Department of Pacific Affairs

Speakers
Bernadette Carreon
Freelance journalist in Palau. Chair, Pacific Freedom Forum.

Kalafi Moala
Editor, Talanoa 'o Tonga website.

Georgina Kekea
Freelance journalist in Solomon Islands. President, Media Association of Solomon Islands. Member, Melanesian Media Freedom Forum.

Dr. Shailendra Singh
Associate professor in Pacific journalism and head of journalism, University of the South Pacific.

Dec 13, 2021 11:00 AM in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

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