Pacific Islands Media Initiatives

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Free, open, and sustainable societies require a strong and professional media industry with impactful journalists to thrive. Since October 2020, 16 media outlets across 11 Pacific Island countries have been able to republish content from the New York Times as part of a partnership between the East-West Center (EWC) and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR). By providing media outlets with non-biased, world-class journalism from the ‘newspaper of record’ in the United States, which they can republish to supplement their local news coverage, the project is strengthening media outlets and helping counter the proliferation of misinformation and biased reporting on social media. So far the media outlets have primarily used Times articles related to the 2020 U.S. elections, the COVID-19 pandemic, global news (including developments within Britain's Royal Family), and the environment. In addition to the licenses, all members of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) are being provided with online subscriptions to the New York Times and being invited to a series of exclusive webinars.Photo: Fiji Radio Broadcast

This successful initiative expanded in April 2021 to include capacity-building activities for faculty and students at the University of the South Pacific (USP) through several activities. In collaboration with National Public Radio’s Next Generation Radio Project, the program will offer a series of in-depth customized ‘virtual newsroom’ trainings for students and faculty from USP which includes one-on-one mentorships from experienced journalists in the U.S.. These mentor relationships, which begin during the week-long workshops, are intended to last far beyond the life of the project. Additionally, select faculty from USP will participate in short-term fellowships at a U.S. radio station or university to gain hands-on professional experience, build their network, and work on a practical research or teaching project. Fellows can choose to focus their fellowship on developing curriculum, expanding their knowledge of a particular area of interest, or whatever they feel will best improve their teaching and the journalism program at USP. Finally, the project is providing funds to upgrade the Radio Pasifik studio and the broadcast journalism program to better serve journalism students, Radio Pasifik volunteers, their community of listeners, and the University.