CHANGES AT THE TOP IN REGIONAL MEDIA COMPANY: LOMAS LEAVES ISLANDS BUSINESS

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (October 31, 2001 - PINA Nius Online)---A change in the chief editor's position was announced today by the directors of a leading regional multimedia group, Islands Business International of Suva.

Longtime editor-in-chief Peter Lomas has resigned, an Islands Business International news release said.

He has done so to concentrate on his expanding work as training coordinator with the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), the main professional association of the region's news media.

He is succeeded as top editor at Islands Business International by managing editor Laisa Taga, who has spent the past three years as his deputy, the news release said.

Lomas -- at a farewell with directors and staff -- said he is especially happy to be handing over his duties to Taga, whom he considers one of the truly outstanding news executives in the region.

With Islands Business International planning new initiatives, now was an ideal time for the changeover, he said. It would enable Taga to work closely with directors Godfrey Scoullar and Robert Keith-Reid and play a key role in these exciting developments, he said.

Lomas said with PINA he is going to be increasingly involved in its development of new media and online training for members, using the Internet to overcome the challenges of distance and cost.

Lomas has spent the past 15 years as the top editor at Islands Business International and has spent more than 30 years in Pacific Islands journalism.

He began with The Fiji Times before independence. He was then one of the executive team that, in 1974, launched the original Fiji Sun newspaper. He went on to become this seven-day-a-week newspaper's longest-serving editor.

In recent years, as well as his Islands Business International work, he has been PINA's training coordinator. This has included running a major UNESCO/PINA project developing Pacific Islands journalism training and education expertise.

Taga brings vast experience to her expanded role with Islands Business International, the news release said.

She was the second Fijian to obtain a journalism degree, is a former principal information officer with the Ministry of Information, was first local TV news director, and was first Fiji woman to edit a daily newspaper.

She has also traveled extensively in the region as a PINA trainer.

She began her career at the original Fiji Sun as a cadet journalist recruited by Lomas.

Islands Business International is one of the region's most successful multimedia companies, with 10 print media publications, along with news website and video production interests.

Its flagship publication is the top regional news and business magazine, Pacific.

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

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