REMARKS: PINA Presidents remarks at opening of PIF-PINA Media dialogue

Delivered by Kora Nou, President of the Pacific Islands News Association

at the PIF -PINA Media Dialogue

25 January 2023

 

(Greetings and salutations)

Thank you, Forum Sec Director Apaitia and your representatives for the warm words of welcome today. Yes, it is good to be back at our Pacific home where many of our journalists from all corners of the Pacific have trained alongside local media wantoks and taken news of ministerial and leaders meetings to our people.

Indeed, we serve the same communities and the same public interest. As public broadcasters or state media entities, or independent and multi-platform news organisations, the PINA membership continues to strive for regional values and our Pacific stories led by our Pacific journalists.

This is a value we share in common with the Pacific Islands Forum. PINA was formed out of a desire from our newsrooms rising from the newly independent nations breaking away from information published by colonial administrations and embracing the role of the fourth estate as a watchdog to our young democracies. I will pay tribute here to the founding leaders of PINA from Fiji, who have now passed on. Today’s senior journalists across Fiji and the Pacific, the leaders of the national media association, the PINA secretariat and the USP journalism school, all in Suva, are all part of the legacy our founding PINA leaders have gifted us today.

I also want to thank the Forum Secretariat for recognising the role of media and PINA are your media. We are the ones reporting at the national level and, with support you provide, at the regional and global levels. We are here watching you, questioning you when you need to answer to our people, and celebrating with you all the moments and milestones our leaders bring home. Whether it is climate change, oceans, economic ministerials or the United Nations, we are here for you, because we serve the same people and ultimately the same vision of a Pacific that is thriving and informed with the best decisions to make the best choices.

That is why we are here today, and in Suva this week as the PINA board and leadership to 2024. I know my board members are very excited to meet you all, and we look forward to hearing more of the 2050 strategy for the Blue Pacific, and what it means for the work we do and how we do it.

Our news media of the Pacific are as unique as the islands and cultures we come from. Our challenges in times of hardship, especially during the pandemic, have also allowed us to discover new opportunities, especially with borders closing and increasing the demand for local content producers. We have seen a rise in recognition of Pacific journalists as the best journalists to tell our Pacific stories. But many of our resourcing challenges remain.

Access to our Pacific forum officials and leaders is key to unlocking the potential and power of keeping our people informed. Thank you for the ongoing support of the Forum to this important work. We may not always agree, and we may not always get it right, but we are united in our resolve to always keep looking for the best ways to work together, and I am certain this is a value the 2050 strategy for the Blue Pacific would support.

On that note, May I also thank SG Henry Puna for the support to media, for taking us to report from distant places and for being available to share with us in our meetings, including his recent keynote to the PINA Media Summit in the Solomon Islands in September. We look forward to keeping up that close relationship.

Finally, may I again say tenkyu tru for this opportunity to meet and share our questions and views.

-ENDS-