Suva (Fiji), 9 May 2022 – A new project on Building the Capacity of Pacific Media to Report on Anti-Corruption was launched in Fiji today by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA).
The project, implemented by PINA through the Pacific Anti-Corruption Journalists Network (PACJN), aims to build the capacity of selected national media associations and journalists to strengthen their capacity to report on the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), accountability, and SDG-16 integrity issues.
“This new partnership will support Pacific journalists to better report on anti-corruption issues in the region and be more aware of key policies we need to advocate for, such as Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation. We have already initiated our first action under this project last week, during the International World Press Freedom Day when we conducted a FOI training to help journalists identify entry points to utilize FOI,” noted Makereta Komai, Managing Editor of PINA.
PINA has appointed experienced Solomon Islands journalist and media advocate, Ms. Georgina Kekea, as the PACJN Coordinator to implement a range of training activities and administer a grant scheme for anti-corruption journalists.
“We recognize that the media situation in each of our Pacific countries is different and we want to partner with our very strong national media associations to make sure we meet the integrity training needs of our diverse journalists in the region,” said Ms. Kekea.
Representing UNODC at today’s launch, Pacific Anti-Corruption Adviser, Ms. Marie Pegie Cauchois, also presented new IT equipment to PINA.
“Through COVID-19, we realized that journalists in the Pacific had become more reliant on modern equipment to conduct research and online collaboration, so an important element of this new PACJN partnership is to provide such equipment that helps in undertaking quicker investigations and safer audio-visual storage,” said Ms. Cauchois.
Other activities, planned during the remainder of 2022 include a video production and awareness-raising campaign on whistleblowing legislation, upgrading reporting on sports corruption, producing a toolkit, and training on media engagement with the UNCAC and the Pacific regional anti-corruption roadmap, the Teieniwa Vision.
The new project grant to PINA is administered by UNODC through the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project (UN-PRAC), a joint initiative between UNODC and UNDP, supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme.