Wednesday 3 May, 2023
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has affirmed its commitment to developing and strengthening the media environment in Papua New Guinea (PNG) at the World Media Freedom Day Forum, hosted by the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) Journalism and Public Relations (JPR) Strand today (May 3rd, 2023).
When addressing the Forum, DICT’s Deputy Secretary for Policy and Emerging Technology, Mr Flierl Shongol, acknowledged the role of technology in enhancing the work of journalists and urged media personnel to use it as a tool to bring the quality of journalism up and differentiate themselves from bloggers with large followings.
Other speakers at the event also emphasized the need for responsible content dissemination and the role of journalists as keepers of information.
Professor Leo Marai, the Executive Dean of UPNG School of Humanities and Social Science, initiated the discussions and announced new infrastructure for the university’s Journalism and Public Relations program, funded by the Government of China.
The Chief Censor of the Office of Censorship, Mr Jim Abani highlighted the need for media personnel to be responsible with their content, as they have a significant role in shaping public opinion.
“Whatever content you put out, whether it is print, broadcast or television, you must be responsible with your content,” Mr Abani said.
Ms. Florida Gulaseni, the Marketing and Communications Manager of Hilton Hotel, Port Moresby, shared her industry journey, and the challenges she overcame, and encouraged young journalists to question where they are and where they’re going, saying “you can be me and more.”
Concluding the discussions, Mr. Flierl Shongol, the Deputy Secretary Policy of the DICT, highlighted the importance of journalists distinguishing themselves in the crowded online space through quality reporting.
He emphasized that while the government’s media policy will not suppress freedom of the press, it will focus on developing the sector and protecting journalists’ welfare and security.
The World Media Freedom Day Forum organized by the JPR strand of UPNG provided a platform to underscore the importance of media freedom, the need for responsible and quality journalism, and the development of the media space as a sector in Papua New Guinea.