NEW PACIFIC-WIDE MAGAZINE LAUNCHED USING INTERNET TECHNOLOGY

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (December 26, 2000 - Pacific/PINA Nius Online)---Internet technology has been used to produce the first news magazine fully covering both the North and South Pacific islands.

First editions of the new Pacific Magazine have just been printed simultaneously on presses in Honolulu and Suva.

It follows the decision of leading regional news companies Pacific Basin Communications, Hawai'i, and Islands Business International, Fiji, to combine resources to produce a magazine for the whole region.

Led by Pacific Basin Communications president Floyd Takeuchi and Islands Business International managing director Godfrey Scoullar, the companies are also launching a major regional website (http://www.pacificislands.cc).

The Internet is helping make the regional reach of the new Pacific magazine possible.

A letter to readers in the first issue explains how this is done as deadline nears: It tells how a report moves from writer Tuo Chinula, to editors Laisa Taga and Giff Johnson, designer Erwin Baracao and graphic artist Virendra Prasad.

Five media professionals busy working together in the same building and watching the same clock as they ensure they meet a deadline? it asks. Not quite.

Chinula is in Noumea, Taga in Suva, Johnson in Majuro, Baracao in Honolulu and Prasad back in Suva.

"They are using computers and the Internet to communicate and work in a digital newsroom spanning the world's greatest ocean," Pacific's

editor-in-chief Peter Lomas explains. "Welcome to the world of Pacific, your new news magazine helping bridge the news divide and strengthen growing links between the North and South Pacific."

Majuro-based Johnson, Pacific's Managing Editor North Pacific, adds: "Such a step would have been impossible just five short years ago. But the age of electronic communication has finally taken root."

Lomas says Johnson and Pacific's Suva-based Managing Editor South Pacific Taga both combine immense experience of the islands with a passion for best practice in journalism.

"They lead a Pacific team that combines for the first time some of the finest journalists of the North Pacific and South Pacific," he says.

Johnson and Taga both stress that despite the new technology that makes the new magazine and the website possible, the focus remains on journalism excellence.

"Technology doesn't produce a good read," says Johnson. "That still comes from reporters on the beat."

Adds Taga: "Journalists have to inform people and inform them accurately. People's views are shaped by what journalists tell them."

The first issue of the new Pacific features a country-by-country report of the challenges ahead in 2001 for the region's countries and territories.

Robert Keith-Reid, Pacific's publisher and the best-known Pacific Islands regional journalist, led the writing of this.

The new magazine will also feature regular columns by Keith-Reid, based on his reporting trips around the countries and territories of the region.

Pacific Basin Communications will continue to publish other publications in its group from its headquarters in Honolulu. They include its flagship magazine, Hawaii Business.

Islands Business International will continue to publish its 10 other publications from Suva, including specialist business, trade and inflight magazines.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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