US Embassy Award for Regional Media Group

Apia, Samoa – The United States yesterday gave its support to a range of organisations including the South Pacific’s new media group, Pasifika Media Association.

US Ambassador to Samoa David Huebner presented a grant of $10,000 to help develop the PasiMA website, which will be central to the association’s development and work plan.

PasiMA members now include independent media organisations in the Cook Islands, Hawai’i, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. Many others have expressed keen interested in becoming members.

It was formally registered in Samoa last month after an inaugural meeting that elected office bearers and adopted a constitution.

Its priorities are the promotion and defence of media freedom, training and ethics.

PasiMA’s president and Samoa Observer editor-in-chief, Savea Sano Malifa, is overseas and the grant was accepted by Samoa Observer development editor and PasiMA board member Russell Hunter.

“PasiMA is very grateful to the people and the government of the United States for this show of support,” said Mr Hunter.“This generous grant will help us establish our website which will become a vital tool for the development of our regional association and its core values of media freedom, training and governance.

“I know I speak for Savea and for all PasiMA members and supporters in expressing our heartfelt gratitude to the United States and in particular its mission here in Samoa.”

Other awardees were:
National University of Samoa, Department of Journalism and Media
National University of Samoa, Center for Samoan Studies
Women in Business Development incorporated
Pasefika Mana Samoa Social Services Incorporated
Samoa United Nations Association
U.S. Veterans Samoa Association