EDITORIAL: Melanesian media freedom

  • Kasun Ubayasiri Griffith University
  • Faith Valencia-Forrester Griffith University
  • Tess Newton Cain Chair, Melanesia Media Freedom Group, Brisbane
  • David Robie Pacific Media Centre, Auckland University of Technology http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2176-8185
Keywords: editorial, journalism, media freedom, media law, Melanesia, Melanesia Media Freedom Forum


The sovereign states of Melanesia are countries where the yoke of colonialism and struggles for independence are still within living memory. There are territories within Melanesia where the questions and complexities associated with achieving self-determination are very much live issues. In West Papua, this issue is one over which blood continues to be spilt. As these countries, and the communities within them, grapple with political-economic and technical shifts, the need for independent journalism is self-evident. However, journalists, editors, publishers and media owners face a barrage of challenges to their ability to operate free from repression or coercion by those who wield power in their societies. Some of these challenges are overt and can extend to threats or physical intimidation. Others are more subtle but no less pervasive and damaging. They lead to a narrowing of the media landscape, the loss of talented professionals to other areas, the rise of self-censorship, and more.


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Author Biography

David Robie, Pacific Media Centre, Auckland University of Technology

Editor of Pacific Journalism Review and Professor of Communication Studies and Journalism
School of Communication Studies
Auckland University of Technology

How to Cite
Ubayasiri, K., Valencia-Forrester, F., Newton Cain, T., & Robie, D. (2020). EDITORIAL: Melanesian media freedom. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 26(1), 7-14. https://doi.org/10.24135/pjr.v26i1.1117