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PMPC Tackles the Challenges of the Pandemic While Focusing on Resilience

More than 100 delegates gathered virtually and heard from several of the Pacific Islands’ radio and TV CEOs describing the current challenges they face with the COVID-19 pandemic and the kinds of assistance that would help them maintain services in the face of restrictions on travel and serious economic downturns in local economies, especially those islands that rely heavily on tourism.

The conference also heard from frontline journalists of the challenges faced in maintaining quality output at a time of fake news and misinformation about COVID and in a third session a dialogue was established between the broadcasters and some of the region’s key development agencies committed to supporting them. There was a palpable sense that real action would result from their partnering.

To that end, the ABU is setting up a special committee to help members spread across the Pacific Ocean who are delivering some of the most remote radio and television services on earth.

The group aims to continue regular, practical work coming out of the annual ABU Pacific Media Partnership Conference,which this week brought together on Zoom broadcasting leaders from across the region at their annual meeting.

Proposing the new group, ABU Secretary-General Dr Javad Mottaghi acknowledged that although the Pacific Islands broadcasters worked cooperatively together, the sheer magnitude of distances between them meant they faced challenges not seen elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific.

He urged the Pacific Islands members to utilise the new body as a conduit for the growth and development of broadcasting in the region – by tapping into the relevant funding, training, content and technical assistance available to broadcasters so that they can build a sustainable future.

The new committee will work to implement initiatives under the PMPC and Dr Mottaghi invited Australia and New Zealand to participate as part of the ABU Pacific family.