PasiMA was formed in August 2010 by independent regional media owners, operators and principals with a vision of creating an association that is forward-looking and responsive to the real-time concerns of media professionals in Pasifika.
While other existing media associations in the region have made significant accomplishments in many areas, the founders of PasiMA identified several important issues that are not being adequately addressed by any existing bodies, including media freedom in the region and the challenge of incorporating new media technologies into the existing media framework in the Pacific islands.
PasiMA is the only Pacific media organization that welcomes members from Pasifika-oriented media anywhere in the world.
PasiMA’s board and membership are composed primarily of independent media owners and practitioners. Representatives of government-owned media and individuals associated with academic and NGO entities are welcomed as non-voting members.
Founding PasiMA Board Officers
Savea Sano Malifa is a Samoan newspaper editor, and publisher, as well as a published poet and author. He is the founder and Editor in Chief of the Samoa Observer, Samoa’s leading newspaper. The Pacific Islands News Association awarded him the Pacific Freedom of Information award for defending the right of the Samoan people to freedom of information and expression. In 1998, he received the Commonwealth Press Union’s Astor Award and INDEX on Censorship Press Freedom Award. In September 2010, he was among the International Press Institute’s 60 World Press Freedom Heroes honoured during a ceremony in Vienna, which also marked IPI’s 60th year defending press freedom around the world.
Kalafi Moala is the Tongan founder, publisher and CEO of Taimi Media Network, a media group that includes two newspapers (Taimi O Tonga and Tonga Chronicle), one radio station, and 6 hours of daily TV programming. He is the author of two books, Island Kingdom Strikes Back and In Search of the Friendly Islands. Moala has twice been awarded the Pacific Media Freedom Award by the Auckland-based Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA), in 2002 and 2003, in recognition of his ongoing contributions to bringing wide-ranging community perspectives and voices into Tonga’s public sphere.
John Woods, a New Zealander of Maori descent, is the editor and publisher of the Cook Island’s main daily newspaper, the Cook Islands News. He has been a journalist for 40 years, half of that time in newspapers and 15 years in magazines. He worked briefly in public sector communications and as a parliamentary press secretary and is a former vice-president of PINA (the Pacific Islands News Association), and of the NZ Community Newspapers Association. He is the author of several books including Highway 35, which was a Montana Book Awards finalist.