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FRENCH POLYNESIA’S TAHITIPRESSE ENDS SERVICES After 11 years of service, news agency falls to budget problems

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 3, 2012) – The French Polynesian government has closed the news agency Tahitipresse following a French government recommendation to cut costs.

Tahitipresse was set up in 2001 to provide a French and English service from its office in Papeete.

Faced with budget cuts, the agency reduced its staff to five and was in discussions with private interests for a way to continue operations.

However, the government decided to shut the agency at the end of December and has now also closed its website.

It has kept the agency’s assets, including its brand name and archives.

Tahitipresse is the only government-owned entity to be closed so far as the administration is mired in unprecedented financial problems.

[PIR editor’s note: Former head of Tahitipresse Thibault Marais says without the service, there is no news agency set up for "filling the gap and doing the job that we're doing." Also left in question are the remaining funds and assets the news agency once claimed. Staff say they have not been told what will become of monies, files, or digital property. Marais expressed surprise earlier that, of the many cost-cutting measures the government could have taken, it chose to axe the news service to curb spending.]

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