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Latest move causing some consternation

This appears to be one of those summers. And the region’s media seems to be in the middle of two cyclones. One in the region’s most substantial media organisation and the other in its media academia. Coincidentally, both these events happened last month and both, like weather events, quite suddenly catching everyone by surprise. For one, the Pacific islands region’s nearly three decades old media body, the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), changed its spots. At its biannual summit last month in Noumea, New Caledonia, members of the association were told that the organisation had now been registered as a private company in Fiji. According to some members at the Noumea meet there never was any consultation ahead of as important a decision as turning the charitable organisation into a limited liability private company. Everyone was taken by complete surprise. The media body was first registered in Apia, Samoa in 1986 as an association of media outlets from around the region with the noble ideals of upholding media freedom, building human capacity in the news media and engendering independence of the Fourth Estate free from the influences of the other three estates of democracy. Eleven years later, in 1997, it was registered as a charitable institution in Fiji, where its secretariat had since moved. And in 2003, it merged with the Pacific Islands Broadcasting Association following an acrimonious and turbulent phase of transition. PINA has received its funding from development organisations and over the period of its existence has run a news service, essentially compiling news articles from regional media and list emailing it two or three times a day to paid subscribers and association members.

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We Say is compiled and edited by Laisa Taga.

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