Media freedom in Melanesia: The challenges of researching the impact of national security legislation

  • Marie M'Balla-Ndi Oelgemoeller James Cook University
  • Levi Obijiofor University of Queensland
Keywords: comparative studies, journalism practice, media freedom, Melanesia, Melanesia Media Freedom Forum, national security, South Pacific


Commentary: In a global context of national security anxiety, governments across the world are passing an increasing number of laws in response to terror-related threats. Often, national security laws undermine media freedom and infringe on democratic principles and basic human rights. Threats to media freedom and abuse of journalists are also increasing in Melanesia. This commentary argues that in a regional context of repetitive political coups, failures in governance, high levels of corruption, insurrections, or even media crises, the tensions between national security legislation and media freedom need to be examined cautiously. The authors suggest that strong methodological and theoretical frameworks that allow for serious consideration of cultural practices and protocols will be necessary to conduct research examining these tensions in Melanesia.


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How to Cite
M’Balla-Ndi Oelgemoeller, M., & Obijiofor, L. (2020). Media freedom in Melanesia: The challenges of researching the impact of national security legislation. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 26(1), 75-85.