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SUVA, Fiji Islands (August 23, 2000 - PINA Nius Online)---The biggest meeting of the region's news media, the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) convention, will now be held in June, 20001, PINA executives have decided.

An online meeting of the PINA executive decided not to go ahead with the convention scheduled for Rarotonga, Cook Islands, in November of this year because of:

* Divisions in the Cook Islands news media that have led to the formation of two separate national bodies of the news media;

* The crisis in Fiji and the Solomon Islands and the impact on PINA member newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations and national associations in those countries;

* A survey of PINA members by the PINA Secretariat that showed overwhelming support for holding the convention every two years instead of annually.

The PINA Secretariat will now call for new applications to host the convention in June 2001. At the 1998 convention in Papeete the Papua New Guinea members had expressed an interest in hosting the 2001 convention.

Taking part in the online decision were PINA president William Parkinson (Fiji), vice president Oseah Philemon (Papua New Guinea), radio industry group executive Johnson Honimae (Solomon Islands), television industry group executive Paola Arnaud (French Polynesia), national associations group executive George Pitt (Cook Islands) and acting newspaper industry group executive Alan Robinson (Fiji).

The PINA executives thanked the Cook Islands Media Association for the effort it has made to host the 2000 convention in Rarotonga. But efforts to get agreement between the two Cook Islands groups had not been successful. And the PINA executives felt it would not be possible to take the convention to Rarotonga while the news media there were divided in this way.

Annual PINA conventions were launched in 1985. They feature conference sessions, workshops, study groups and meetings of the newspaper and magazine, radio, television and national association industry groups.

Last year's convention was held in Suva in October. It was hosted by the Fiji news media.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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