Monday, 26 December 2016

PIMA promotes open agenda for new media era



Open Agenda: PIMA Chair Will ‘Ilolahia with PIMA AGM adviser Manu Fotu from TASA, and PIMA Vice Chair Judy Utia, board member George Vea and Secretary Jason Brown.


New levels of transparency are being promoted by PIMA, the Pacific Islands Media Association, promising a digital-first strategy.

“The days of pen and paper are over,” says PIMA Chair Will ‘Ilolahia, re-elected unopposed at an annual general meeting last week.

“We are in the new media era of liking and loving via social networks.”


PIMA’s digital-first strategy starts with opening up voting to members online in the association’s Facebook group.

“Our aim is for PIMA to move towards an open, living constitution that members can amend any time.

“This will enable all our members to confirm decisions made at board level - or move motions against board decisions.”

More eyes

PIMA Vice Chair Judy Utia welcomed the move towards greater transparency, saying it would make her dual role as Treasurer much easier.

“Managing finances is among the hardest tasks faced by any organisation,” she says.

“The more eyes on the accounts, the better.”

No waiting

PIMA Secretary Jason Brown praised AGM delegates for accepting the digital-first strategy, and much greater transparency.

Agendas, minutes and accounts will all be shared with all members as soon as they become available, only held back by limits of existing technology, says Brown.

"No one has to wait for a monthly account, or an annual audit.

No more secrets

"PIMA members should soon be able to monitor spending as it happens," says Brown.

"No more secrets - executives with access to PIMA funds will know that any spending will be shared with all members."

That means members being able evaluate how that spending compares with stated goals, review outputs and assess outcomes, he says.

Banking apps

"Banking apps are not yet up-to-speed with this vision for so-called radical transparency, but will soon enough make more sense as generally accepted practice."

One of the few functioning media groups in Aotearoa, PIMA is in the process rebuilding the association from the ground up.

‘Ilolahia says the challenges facing PIMA are already well known.

Shut down?

“Previous and existing board members have come up against time and resource limits - unable to achieve all the aims and objective hoped for by members,” he says.

“By adopting a digital-first strategy, PIMA members can take up opportunities previously lost to the difficulty of meeting face to face.”

‘Ilolahia praised the efforts of pre-2014 executives, who considered whether or not PIMA was still achieving its aims, or whether it should be shut down.


He notes that previous PIMA board members faced controversy over issues such as journalism ethics.

“One plan is for journalists to set up their own council within PIMA, to avoid future division across the whole group.”

But ‘Ilolahia says current members back an advocacy role for PIMA, including on issues facing Pacific Islanders and their treatment by mainstream media.


“Some have criticised PIMA for speaking out at all, while others are critical that PIMA does not speak out enough”, he says.

“This confusion has been resolved at our annual general meeting, thanks to renewed commitment for a public role to be played by PIMA.”

New constitutional clauses approved at the AGM spells out the advocacy role for PIMA.

Public debate

Under objectives, the constitution now states:

Encourage and promote unity between island media”


Advocate for public debate facing island communities”

These and other amendments remain open for voting within the PIMA Facebook group, with updated constitutional clauses to be uploaded to the Societies registrar online.