“Media Freedom@work” outcomes

09/06/2010 14:56

“Media Freedom@work”

Building safety, excellence and leadership networks for Pacific women in media

School of Journalism and Communications, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia,

April 28-30th, 2010 


  1. Women from Pacific mainstream, civil society, academia, community and advocacy media covering 13 Pacific nations including Australia and New Zealand attended the ‘Media Freedom@Work’ meeting supporting safety, excellence and leadership networks for Pacific Women in media.


  1. The meeting was held as part of the lead-in events to the global commemoration of the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) in 2010, which was hosted for the first time in the Pacific.


  1. The historic inaugural meeting reaffirmed the need for and endorsed the Pacific WAVE (Women Advancing a Vision of Empowerment) Media Network.


  1. It must be acknowledged that there are networks to help build empowerment of Pacific women however we confirm the need for the WAVE network.  WAVE is the avenue for a strong collective voice for Pacific women in media, building a better and stronger future for all by promoting professional excellence and leadership, and gender advocacy.


  1. We, the participants, commit these outcomes as a summary of our event and a guiding declaration of our intentions beyond WPFD 2010. 


  1. Through the leadership of Pacific WAVE, we -


  1. Reaffirm that a number of commitments to women and the media have been addressed in a range of international and national agreements to advance gender equality and women in media.


  1. Believe it is essential to hold strong to principles of ethical reporting, and to eliminate gender stereotypes, to combat aggressive behaviour, harassment, inequality in promotion, training and pay, and to stand up for dignity in our work as journalists and media professionals.


  1. Pacific media organizations and practitioners should work together to uphold commitments to, and practice of ethics in journalism. This goes hand in hand with a respect for the rights and dignity of all women noting especially that:


  1. Action, monitoring and advocacy on the commitments we affirm above are critical to ensuring that Pacific media can ensure diversity in media content independently and safely – so the images of women in media and society reflect the need to end all discrimination in social, economic, political and cultural life.


  1. Media associations and councils have a critical role to play in advancing gender equality issues  and  addressing the status of women in society


  1. Noting with concern that the issue of safety at work and in the course of day to day journalism is a gendered issue, and that women in the media are especially vulnerable to threats of physical sexual and emotional violence


  1. We believe that an independent and free media is a pre-requisite for the inclusion of women’s expertise and experiences to ensure, to build and to strengthen policies which create sustainable peace and development in our communities and region.


  1. An independent and free media can also assist in informing, motivating and mobilizing populations and communities emerging from conflict.  It provides an important channel of increasing public participation in Peacebuilding by making the process inclusive for all.


  1. We stand in strong solidarity with our media colleagues and women in all forms of media work reaffirming the need to uphold universal principles and values of Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Information.


  1. We believe that imposition of media restrictions in Fiji is a regional crisis which has to be resisted if our region is to have lasting stability.


  1. Condemn all forms of violence, sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination in our profession and declare our intention to reinforce efforts to eliminate all these threats so that women may advance in the media industry. 


    Action Points for Consideration:

  1. The participants at the WAVE “Media Freedom@work” commit to:


  1. Develop and support of a mentoring programme to help advance Pacific women in media
  2. Celebrate the achievements of Pacific women through media and communications
  3. Strengthen and grow the WAVE network
  4. Establish partnerships with other agencies to empower and advance Pacific women in media
  5. Raise awareness and advocacy to build safety, excellence and leadership networks for Pacific women in media


  1. Recommendations
  2. We call on Pacific Media stakeholders to:
  3. Ensure gender equality is respected and incorporated in all education, training and career development programmes.


  1. Recognise the Pacific Women in the Media Action Plan 2006 and advance its implementation as well as other commitments made towards the advancement of Pacific women in media
  2. Utlitise the WAVE network as the Forum through which greater advancements can be made for safety excellence and leadership networks for Pacific women in media;
  3. We stand in strong solidarity with our media colleagues and women in all forms of media work reaffirming the need to uphold universal principles and values of Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Information.
  4. To integrate this outcome document and implement the actions for consideration in any future initiatives relating to Pacific women in media.
  5. Note the issues raised in the annexes


  1. Finally, participants express thanks to the Australian Assistance and International Development (AusAID) Fund, the School for Journalism and Communications at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, UNESCO’s office for the Pacific States, and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) for making this inaugural event possible.


  1. We call on all Pacific media stakeholders to adopt as a priority the outcomes and proposed actions above as their commitment towards advancing human rights in the Pacific.