Prime Minister James Marape meets with journalists and public diplomacy officials

Prime Minister James Marape hosted a dialogue with the media last Friday.

An event many journalists and public relations officers described as the first of its kind.

The event primarily was to get views from members of the mainstream media and public relations about development issues they have encountered in their work.

Other aspects of the meet were to obtain feedback on partnership between government and the media that should foster media reach, promote positive communication for development on issues and identifying challenges.

Media council president Neville Choi was able to highlight few challenges confronting the media- post the introduction of mobile phones

From the outset he affirmed journalists and media workers subscribe to the ethics and values of journalism.

The introduction of unregulated social media though exerts some challenges in countering irresponsible, unethical and misreported content for citizens.

“Despite what many people may think, media houses today still have newsrooms that hold tight journalism integrity, honesty and transparency,” Choi said.

“It is unreliable that social media content continues to be highly unregulated, uncensored information, and this has led to online PNG population exposed to hearsay, rumours uncensored reactions to anything and vulgar personalities.”

“These are what we don’t need moving forward.”

Choi spoke frankly to the Prime Minister about media management who compromise ethical journalism and succumbing to outside pressure.

“Having media houses managed by non-Papua New Guineans only makes it easier for ministers and national leaders to force pressure on them to have news reported the way they wanted,” he said.

Choi said despite the challenges, the PNG Media Council is working with agencies like the Censorship Board and Central Implementation and Monitoring Council to set ethical standards for broadcast and online publishing and promoting access to public information.

One of the challenges highlighted was “red tape” when public officials were not responding to queries from the media efficiently considering they have deadlines.

All mainstream media journalists now have two weeks to consolidate ideas about what they think the government should work to address and forward to Neville Choi while public diplomacy officers provide their feedback to Police Media Director Supt. Dominic Kakas.

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