Vol. 11 No. 2 (2005): Media ethics and accountability
Cartoon: © Malcolm Evans
Editors: David Robie, Jean-Claude Bertrand
Press councils and M*A*S in the Pacific
The September 2005 edition of Pacific Journalism Review, published in New Zealand, is devoted to media ethics and accountability systems (M*A*S). One article, by Shailendra Singh, considers "six South Pacific island countries that have have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, self-regulatory M*A*S mechanisms following government pressure: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. M*A*S have been slow to take root in Oceania. Apart from Papua New Guinea, Fiji is the trend-setter in the region. Following the establishment of the Fiji Media Council in the mid-1990s, several other South Pacific island countries were keen to the follow the lead. Tonga now has a similar body with a code of ethics and which includes public members empowered to receive and adjudicate on complaints against the media. In Samoa, a study has been carried out in order to establish a media council-type body. The Solomon Islands Media Council has close ties with the PNG Media Council.
Full details of the Pacific M*A*S systems are in PJR, Vol 11(2), September 2005.