MASI President Gina Kekea highlighted the operational challenges faced by media organizations in the Solomon Islands due to limited resources, time constraints, and the rapidly changing media landscape.

Due to a lack of funds and resources, many media outlets in the second-largest nation in the Melanesian block have found it difficult to cover significant news events in-depth over the past few decades, according to the president of the Media Association of the Solomon Islands (MASI).

President Gina Kekea said the past years have been a struggle for media organizations, navigating through the events of the 2021 riots, the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 earthquake and political disruptions.

“Despite these challenges, our media professionals have demonstrated remarkable resilience and dedication to their craft. Their coverage of events such as the Pacific Games, the joint elections and the election of the Prime Minister has been exemplary, providing the public with vital information and fostering greater civic engagement.

“However, we cannot ignore the challenges and obstacles that our media organizations face on a daily basis. Limited resources, time constraints and the rapidly changing media landscape present significant challenges to their operations.

“Many newsrooms operate with skeleton staff, stretched to their limits, yet they persevere, driven by a deep sense of duty and commitment to the public good. The media landscape in Solomon Islands presents unique challenges.

“Limited capacity, constrained budgets and reliance on word-of-mouth communication are just some of the obstacles that journalists and media organizations struggle with on a daily basis,” expressed President Gina Kekea during 2024 World Press Freedom Day breakfast function at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara on Friday 3 May.

She later emphasized the need for more international support, including the British government’s BBC Media Action, to ensure the sustainability and resilience of local media outlets.

“While international support, such as that provided by the British government through BBC Media Action, is invaluable, more must be done to ensure the sustainability and resilience of local media outlets.

“Despite these challenges, the role of journalism in promoting national security cannot be overstated. A free and independent press serves as a defense against misinformation and disinformation, providing citizens with the information they need to make informed decisions. By fostering a culture of transparency and accountability, journalists contribute to the stability and security of our nation.

“It’s incumbent upon us, as a society, to support and empower our journalists, to defend their right to report without fear and to uphold the principles of press freedom and freedom of expression. We must strive to create an environment where journalists can work safely and without undue interference, where their contributions are valued and respected,” she said.

Likewise, the MASI President emphasizes press freedom and democratic values, pledging solidarity with journalists worldwide who risk their lives for truth, recognizing a free press as a fundamental human right.

“As we celebrate the achievements of Solomon Islands’ media professionals today, let us also reaffirm our commitment to upholding press freedom and democratic values. Let us pledge to stand in solidarity with journalists around the world who continue to risk their lives in pursuit of the truth. Let us recognize that a free press is not just a cornerstone of democracy but a fundamental human right.

“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all those who champion the cause of a free and independent media. Your dedication, support and commitment is truly valued. Thank you tumas,” Gina said.


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