The media and journalism challenges in Melanesia
Addressing the impacts of external and internal threats in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
This article advances discussions on media freedom and media development in Melanesia through the introduction of an ‘external’ and ‘internal’ threats analytical framework. Singling out the challenges and categorising them into these two main groups provides a clearer picture of the issues at stake, the links between them, and the need to address the situation holistically. External threats emanating from outside the media sector are often seen as more serious, and they often overshadow internal threats, which come from within the media sector. This article argues that both sets of threats have serious impacts on media and journalism in their own ways, and that both should be regarded equally. Furthermore, the linkages between these threats mean that one cannot be properly addressed without addressing the other. A key outcome of this discussion is a clearer understanding of how little control the media have over both external and internal threats, and how stakeholder support is needed to overcome some of the issues. Because good journalism benefits the public, this article argues for increased public support for high-quality journalism that delivers a public benefit.
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