Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) President and newly elected Port Vila Municipal Councillor, Moses Steven, took advantage of his message on World Media Freedom Day yesterday, to reveal his intention as the longest serving President of PINA, to step down after four terms.
One of the main reasons why he has been elected unopposed in the past being the Media Association of Vanuatu (MAV) has been stable throughout his term compared to other media associations in the Region.
Now coupled with his increasing responsibilities to his electors in Port Vila, he told a gathering of MAV members at Alliance Francaise yesterday that he is going to step down at the Pacific Media Summit in Tonga next week.
The Pacific Media Summit was first launched in Port Vila in 2009 when Moses Steven was elected President.
Former PINA President Monica Miller of Samoa congratulated Steven last year in Palau by saying, “You have set a new record doing your fourth term as President. I only completed three terms”.
Speaking as President of PINA, he said, “On this international media freedom day, I wish to congratulate MAV for your commitment and in particular, for your milestone achievement in your work to spearhead the Right to Information Bill which was successfully passed by Parliament to become law.
“To you young reporters and media personnel, I challenge you to write our own stories about our country because most historical reports about Vanuatu were written by pioneer missionaries some of which risk promoting disunity in our communities today”.
An example is where they might have referred to someone as a ‘chief’ only for the villagers to realise later that the person was not a chief at all and today the rightful heir to the position is someone else.
Steven warns against ‘parachute journalism’ saying the theme of World Press Freedom Day 2018: “Keeping power in check: media, justice and the rule of law” speaks for itself.
“To us in Vanuatu, we journalists tell our own stories to the world. I would like to see us develop our networks with different sectors and travel the islands or live on our own islands to document the stories of our people. In this way, we can correct those past reports written by other people who had no spiritual connection to the places where they lived”, he said.