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MADANG, Papua New Guinea (October 19, 2001 - PINA Nius Online)---The work of Fiji and Solomons Islands journalists and news organizations during last year's crisis features in awards announced at the 2001 Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) convention.

Solomon Star publishers John and Cathy Lamani, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation, Fiji Television, The Fiji Times and radio journalist Malakai Veisamasama received awards.

Also honored were courageous Samoan newspaper publishers Savea and Jean Malifa, veteran regional writer Robert Keith-Reid, and Guam's Pacific Daily News.

Regional and Papua New Guinea national awards were given out in ceremonies at the Haus Win, Madang Resort Hotel, in northern Papua New Guinea.

PINA regional award winners and the citations for their awards were:

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation - for true dedication to public service broadcasting, helping the people throughout the Solomon Islands during the ethnic conflict and the Honiara takeover and coup. They did this despite many and intense pressures on the corporation and the people who work for it and while many other institutions of Solomon Islands society collapsed around them.

John and Cathy Lamani (Solomon Star) - for national media leadership throughout the Solomon Islands ethnic conflict, maintaining vigorous publication of the Solomon Star and helping provide stability while many other institutions of Solomon Islands society collapsed around them. They did so despite enormous pressures on them both and despite constant efforts to intimidate them.

Fiji Television - for outstanding effort in quickly and fearlessly resuming broadcasting and serving the people of Fiji despite the wrecking of the station by rebels, threats to the company and its staff, and the collapse of revenue during the Fiji coup crisis. They showed how commercial broadcasters can also be in the front lines of public service broadcasting.

The Fiji Times - for uninterrupted, unintimidated, and expanded service and leadership to the people throughout the Fiji coup crisis. They were there leading from the front when the people of Fiji needed them most. They showed just how well a dedicated newspaper company and its people can serve and help sustain their community in times of great adversity.

Malakai Veisamasama (Communications Fiji Limited) - for courageous and fearless reporting from the dangerous front lines throughout the Fiji coup crisis, epitomizing the work of Fiji's radio stations to provide the people fair, balanced and accurate information throughout the darkest days and despite personal pressures. Special mention should be made of his courageous efforts going to the rescue of other journalists under attack.

Savea and Jean Malifa (Samoa Observer) - for the vindication of their many years of fearless defense of the right of the people of Samoa to freedom of information and expression. They did this despite serious attacks on both them and their property and real threats to their lives. They courageously shone light on dark places and in the end the truth prevailed.

Pacific Daily News, Guam - for highest standard, constant commitment to reporting and investigating crucial environmental issues, not just in Guam but throughout the North Pacific. They have set the true standards of excellence and commitment in environmental journalism in the public interest. They provide something for the rest of the region to aspire to.

Robert Keith-Reid, Islands Business International (Fiji) - for decades Robert has devoted himself to tirelessly pioneering the development of top regional publications and regional information flow. His own outstanding journalism has personally set the benchmark for informed explanatory reporting on governance and business and economics throughout the Pacific Islands. He has shown constantly that our Pacific Islands news media can match that anywhere in the world.

The award ceremonies were held before radio, TV, print and online media executives and senior journalists from throughout the region.

The presentations were made by British High Commissioner Simon Scadden, Papua New Guinea National Events Council chairperson Sir Peter Barter and Father Jan Czuba, president of Papua New Guinea's Divine Word University.

The PINA convention is hosted and organized by the Papua New Guinea Media Council and has the theme, The Media and the Pacific Child.



MADANG, Papua New Guinea (October 19, 2001 - PINA Nius Online)---Leading Solomon Islands broadcaster Johnson Honimae was yesterday unanimously elected new president of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA).

And Samoan newspaper executive Jean Malifa was unanimously elected vice president as PINA held its elections at Madang's Divine Word University.

Members from throughout the region attending the 2001 PINA convention named a new-look team to lead the region's main news media association for the next two years.

Outgoing president William Parkinson and vice president Oseah Philemon earlier said they were stepping down because there should be regular infusions of fresh thinking in the leadership.

But Mr. Honimae has named Mr. Parkinson as his special representative in Suva, where PINA has its regional secretariat.

Mr. Parkinson applauded the new leadership. He said that in Mr. Honimae and Mrs. Malifa PINA is being led by people with outstanding credentials in promoting and defending freedom of expression and information.

The new PINA executive board members are:

President: Johnson Honimae (general manager, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation).

Vice President: Jean Malifa (business manager, Samoa Observer).

Executive member representing PINA's national associations group: Yehiura Hriehwazi (Papua New Guinea Media Council member).

Executive member representing PINA's newspaper and magazine industry group: Tony Yianni (incoming publisher of The Fiji Times and previously managing director of the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier).

Executive member representing PINA's radio industry group: Justin Kili (deputy general manager of PNG FM).

Executive member representing PINA's television industry group: Richard Broadbridge (head of news and programs, Fiji Television).

Members unanimously accepted a bid by Samoa to host the next PINA convention, in 2003.

Radio, TV, print and online media executives and senior journalists from throughout the region are in Madang, in northern Papua New Guinea, for the PINA convention.

It is hosted and organized by the Papua New Guinea Media Council and has the theme, The Media and the Pacific Child.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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