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Pacific News Bulletin Barred From SPF - Fiji Post

Pacific News Bulletin Barred From Forum Meeting

Article From The Fiji Daily Post, 13 August 2003

The Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC) has accused the New Zealand government and the Forum Secretariat of refusing to grant media accreditation to the Pacific News Bulletin (PNB), the only Pacific Islands civil society-owned newsletter, to cover the Forum meeting in Auckland.

The monthly publication, which is owned by 120-member organizations of the Nuclear Free and Independent Pacific Movement in 33 Pacific region countries, was established in 1986.

The PCRC said the newsletter was read worldwide by paid subscribers “because it gives alternative views on Pacific issues not covered by the mainstream media.”

The PCRC reports that the Forum Secretariat decided the PNB was not mainstream because it was owned by a civil society organization.

PCRC Director Motarilavoa Hilda Lini said: “New Zealand is playing double standards by talking about the importance of media freedom and civil society participation and at the same time closing the door to the PNB.”

“The Forum Secretariat plays double standards by advising that media accreditation is the responsibility of New Zealand as the host country and at the same time advises New Zealand not to give accreditation to the only Pacific Islands civil society owned news media.”

Ms Lini said this was the first time in 15 years of publication that the PNB had been refused media accreditation to the Forum on application.

“She said it raised questions about transparency and good governance when the Forum is only accrediting media corporations “who have their own particular style of reporting.”

The PCRC added the New Zealand government, on the other hand while being vocal on media freedom, had decided to remain silent on the issue and had not responded to any correspondence.

ENDS

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