VANUATU MEDIA WAIT FOR GOVERNMENT RESPONSE

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Oct. 17) - The Vanuatu Media Association is yet to receive a response from the government over its concerns about the way the media are being treated.

The association presented a petition to the Prime Minister, Edward Natapei, a month ago, but it has received no response so far.

The president of the association, Kiery Manassa, says threats and acts of violence against journalists are among key concerns.

"We raised concern that acts of violence against journalists, whether in Vanuatu or anywhere in the world, is a real threat to media freedom. We expect the government to come out and make its position clear on such incidents, especially against journalists."

Mr Manassa says the association is also seeking to raise awareness of the need to have institutions be accountable to citizens.

The petition followed a dispute between the Vanuatu Maritime Authority and the Daily Post, which ended with an injunction stopping the paper from reporting about the authority or its staff.

October 17, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/

 

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