One of the hallmarks of a democratic society is free and independent media.
As we celebrate this year’s World Press Freedom Day, with the theme “Information as a Public Good,” the Palau Media Council is calling on the government to champion free and independent media.
Palau Media Council calls on the government to ensure a fair playing field by providing equal access to all; public and private media.
This year’s theme serves as a call to the government to renew its commitment to supporting the media and the importance of information as a public good.
Palau Media Council has come a long way in covering and reporting local news, it has also put Palau’s name on the
map for its independent reporting.
Freedom House has ranked Palau’s press freedom consistently in the top tier on its annual ranking. That high ranking is a result of the many independent media outlets operating in the nation.
While we welcome a strengthened government media, independent media is crucial for a fully functioning democracy.
As a group made up of small newsrooms and limited resources, we face losing our jobs or worse our companies due to challenging environment, including the pandemic, beefed-up government media, and a well-funded public communications corporation, leaving independent, media outlets behind.
Today, we urge the government to respect the role of free and independent media in the nation’s democracy, which includes ensuring the economic viability of the private media.
A state-run media strengthened through public funds can only give the public a one-sided view of information.
Therefore, we call on the government for greater access and transparency, consistent with the Open Government Act.
Press Freedom is also about providing the media with prompt and timely information.
We urge this administration, including its gatekeepers to improve collaborative relationships with independent media.
It’s time, for this administration to fulfill its promise of government transparency by supporting free and independent media.
SOURCE: PALAU MEDIA COUNCIL