Thursday 8 September 2022
Radio has always been a vital medium of communication and a channel of disseminating information to the general populace in PNG since pre-independence and continues to be today.
Minister for Information and Communications Technology Hon. Timothy Masiu , made these remarks when he officially opened Radio Maria new studio in Port Moresby today (Thursday 8September 2022)..
“The advancement in technology and the digital platforms has opened up an opportunity for wider dissemination of information and this is also a concern particularly for the variety of contents that are disseminated for consumption today,” Minister Masiu said.
Minister Masiu was privileged to be part of the ceremony and acknowledged the persevering presence of the Catholic Church and Radio Maria Papua New Guinea for showing consistency in its broadcasting and content that has become a reference point for many Papua New Guineans.
Minister Masiu said media and broadcasting has the potential or the power to either destroy or build a nation through the information that it delivers to the audience, and particularly the young generation.
“Therefore, it is important that radio should continue to be a channel that inspires and empowers our younger generation.
“The content you deliver continues to guide spiritual growth and encourage our people to live a positive life. Thank you, to the management and the executives of Radio Maria PNG”.
He added, “This Government is focused on delivering telecommunication, broadcasting and ICT services to all parts of the country.
“Under my Ministry of ICT, broadcasting and particularly radio services remain a priority for the Government because radio services reach many parts of the country and deliver content that is educational.
“I have issued a directive to the State’s national broadcaster, the National Broadcasting Corporation to rehabilitate all the provincial radio stations and partner with the provincial governments to sustain these radio stations now and into the future.”
Radio Maria PNG currently shares content with NBC, particularly the Sunday service that is being telecast every Sunday morning.
Minister Masiu also emphasized the need for the Government and Church to work together and support each other’s objectives, saying, the Government continues to place high priority on health and education, and further encourages the churches to use this medium to support common grounds of ‘health’ and ‘education.
“I know Radio Maria PNG has thousands of dedicated believers that are following its services daily. Similarly, Radio Maria could support the Government to deliver its health and educational content.
“By working together, we can make PNG become an informed and knowledgeable society as envisaged by our ‘Vision 2050’.
“The Government also acknowledges the connectivity challenges that we face in the country however, we have made certain policy decisions to address these challenges, in particular, the Government is committed to supporting expansion of telecommunication and broadcasting coverage through tower sharing,” he said.
Minister Masiu also stated that the Government, in the last session of the tenth Parliament, enacted a Digital Government Act 2022 and under the Act, a government neutral broadcasting and telecommunications network valued over 600 million will be rebuilt over the next five years.
This infrastructure will facilitate effective tower sharing with the aim to achieve 100% radio and television coverage by 2027.
Minister Masiu also added that the National ICT Act of 2009 is being reviewed and will be simplified to support further sharing of commercial towers.
The Regulator, NICTA, and the Department of ICT will be reviewing the National ICT Act to facilitate outright towering sharing to address connectivity challenges and increase the coverage of telecommunication and broadcasting services.
Minister Masiu commended the work of the Catholic Church in supporting the Government, particularly in the delivery of health and education services.
He further commended other churches that are contributing to the development and sustenance of the health and education sector.
Minister Masiu said the opening of this new studio of Radio Maria and the CBC Grotto is a momentous occasion.
“This milestone represents yet again a commitment by Radio Maria PNG to truly make PNG a Christian nation, as proclaimed by our Constitution.”
Minister Masiu congratulated the Management of Radio Maria PNG and reiterated his call for partnership between the Church and the Government in the field of broadcasting to disseminate relevant development information to our people.