Defend media freedom in Pacific, says USP’s journalism head

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Head of the University of the South Pacific's journalism programme Dr Shailendra Singh
Head of the University of the South Pacific's journalism programme Dr Shailendra Singh ... "China has a different political system – a totalitarian system." Image: TPN screenshot

By Sue Ahearn of The Pacific Newsroom in Canberra

Pacific journalists must be allowed to do their jobs, says the head of journalism at the University of the South Pacific, Dr Shailendra Singh.

Pacific journalists have raised concerns about access and secrecy surrounding the tour of the Pacific by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and a high-level delegation.

Dr Singh has called for a defence of media freedom in the Pacific and more support from governments in the region for Pacific journalism.

He told The Pacific Newsroom the state of the media in the Pacific was not just a national issue but a regional concern.

“We have two different systems here. China has a different political system – a totalitarian system, and in the Pacific we have a democratic system,” he said.

“And that is how our media is also configured. Anyone is free to comment about what is happening in other countries.”

Dr Singh is currently attached with the Australian National University (ANU) on a research fellowship. He is also on the editorial board of Pacific Journalism Review.

Sue Ahearn is founding editor and publisher of The Pacific Newsroom.

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