The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) will support Pacific media to cover the upcoming Pacific Island Forum as well as providing its own comprehensive on-the-ground coverage of the landmark event, which will be held in Suva, Fiji from 11-14 July.
The ABC’s coverage will be available in Australia and across the Pacific on ABC Radio Australia, ABC Radio Australia Facebook, ABC Australia and on the ABC News website and ABC News app.
ABC Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat program will broadcast live from the PIF venue each day from 6am PNG time/8 am Fiji time. The PM edition of Pacific Beat will also have up-to-the-minute coverage each day at 3pm PNG time/5 pm Fiji time.
Matthew O’Sullivan, the ABC’s Managing Editor of Asia Pacific News, said Australia’s engagement in the Pacific was being closely scrutinised and discussed at home and across the region.
“The ABC is sending crews in-country to ensure our local and Pacific audiences have a strong and independent media voice covering the meetings from on the ground,” he said.
ABC International Development will support eight Pacific journalists to travel to Suva to cover the meeting, under the aegis of the DFAT-funded Media Development Initiative and the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme and in partnership with the PIF Secretariat and Pacific Islands News Association (PINA).
The Pacific journalists will report for their own media organisations throughout the week. They will be joined by eight Fijian journalists and will also participate in media masterclasses run by veteran media practitioners Dorothy Wickham (Solomon Islands) and Rita Narayan (Fiji).
Claire Gorman, the ABC’s Head of International Services, said the ABC was committed to engaging meaningfully with the diverse people and cultures that make up the Pacific region and Timor Leste.
“The ABC is in a unique position in the Australian media landscape in its scale of coverage of Pacific affairs and its support for Pacific media,” she said.
“Our activities in covering this historic PIF will enable audiences across the region and in Australia to better understand the Forum and its impact.”
ABC International Development has been supporting Pacific journalists to cover significant Pacific Islands Forum meetings since 2017.