EDITORIAL: Melanesian media freedom
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.
Copyright (c) 2020 Kasun Ubayasiri, Tess Newton Cain, Faith Valencia-Forrester, David Robie
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