The Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology is highlighting the threats to media freedom in the Asia-Pacific region in an event today marking its 10th anniversary.
Following the International Day of Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists earlier this month, the PMC is hosting two guest speakers in a panel addressing the so-called “war on drugs” in the Philippines and the extrajudicial killings estimated by officials at more than 7000 while human rights agencies claim a higher figure; and also human rights violations in West Papua.
The event features Malou Mangahas, executive director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, speaking on journalist safety and the culture of impunity.
The Philippines is the country with the largest single massacre of journalists – 34 on the island of Mindanao in 2009, where a three-month urban siege against jihadists in Marawi City has recently ended with a toll on many newsrooms.
Johnny Blades, a senior journalist of RNZ International (pictured right in Jayapura with Tabloid Jubi editor Victor Mambor), will also speak about his challenging experiences in West Papua, especially during an “official” visit to the Indonesian-ruled Melanesian provinces in 2015.