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Media celebrated as ‘backbone of democracy’ in Pacific

Source: Asia-Pacific Report

Apia, SAMOA — The role of the media in elections and democracy was a celebrated theme on World Press Freedom Day this past Friday with multiple events and talks held throughout the Pacific.

In a statement on the day, Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) president Kora Nou said that a free media was the “backbone of democracy”.

“Here in the Pacific, national media organizations are organising activities to celebrate the day and be reminded of the important role the media plays in promoting democracy and rule of law,” reports the Vanuatu Daily Post.

“The media can only play this role well if it is guaranteed freedom of expression to deliver messages to the people without being oppressed or intimidated by authorities or any entities that have authority to prevent information from the people.”

The sentiments in Samoa were similar with a celebration organised by the Journalists Association of Samoa (JAWS) and held at the Niule’a building at the National University of Samoa.

Keynote speaker Electoral Commissioner Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio said the evening was about celebrating the importance of journalists’ work, reports the Samoa Observer.

A former journalist, Faimalomatumua implored young reporters to become more involved in the electoral process and cover it in more depth.

“This is the process that elects our leaders. If the process is corrupt, that means the leaders we elect are corrupt.”

Read more at Asia-Pacific Report