Lydia Medland, of Access Info Europe, lead editor, said
Regional reports cover Africa, the Americas, Australasia and Oceania, East and Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia.
The main regional body, the Pacific Islands Forum actively promotes and supports programs and initiatives for governance improvement including increased transparency and accountability.
“The two years since gradual implementation of the OIA began have not provided much evidence of change to entrenched systems and public sector behaviour. The OIA remains a cumbersome and largely ineffective tool for local media, who have come dangerously close to losing confidence in its value. Media criticism of the law has ranged from the State’s failure to invest sufficient resources in its ownership and awareness building, to perceptions that it is an awkward tool that suffers from a convoluted mix of conditions, such as delays and exemptions...The Office of the Ombudsman has publicly acknowledged the persistence of a culture of secrecy within official circles. However, no attention is paid to investigating the deeper motives for persistent secrecy, and thus helping to lift the veil.”
“At this point in time, a fractured and poorly managed Pacific media regionalism is itself providing the biggest threat to media freedom and FOI. We will always have our dictators and tyrants to deal with, but we need to set our house in order... Without a resourced and effective monitoring, advocacy and coordination effort owned and endorsed by all of us, from our different parts of the region, we will continue to remain in crisis mode. We will not be able to dream of excellence and standards outside the ad hoc pockets that do exist. We will not be able to hope to grow media literacy amongst our youth, leaders and communities so that the Right to Know is an accepted flip-side to the right to ask the taboo questions.”