Wednesday 03rd May 2023

The United Nations Resident Coordinator hosted a Media Freedom Day Breakfast today at Lamana Hotel, Port Moresby in honor of the importance of free and independent media in democratic societies.

The event aimed to address the challenges and brainstorm best practices in the media landscape of Papua New Guinea, and to inspire methodologies to navigate emerging media technologies while retaining the important model of a self-regulating media industry.

President of the PNG Media Council, , Mr. Neville Choi also spoke about the impact of new media technologies on the media industry.

He emphasized that the onset of new media technologies has not only changed the way we treat news but has also created a new culture of misinformation and disinformation. He further explained how social media platforms have interwoven individual preference algorithms into online sales and consumerism behavioral tracking, creating a new business culture.

However, Mr. Choi believes that rebuilding trust is the key to navigating these challenges.

He stated, “Today, we have a mainstream industry of traditionally independent media, having multi-media delivery platforms. Traditional print media are finding their feet in the online space. Traditional newsroom processes have had to be updated, and news teams upskilled. And exciting new and homegrown Online News service platforms have become part of the mainstream media family.”

Mr. Choi stressed the importance of having a credible and effective Media Council in Papua New Guinea that represents both the public interest and the interests of the sector.

He said, “It is important never to underestimate the role of effective and trusted media in a developing democracy, especially one such as ours, with its many challenges. It informs, educates, and gives a voice to citizens.

It holds government and other vested interests to account; and by doing so, contributes to the rule of law and public integrity. It enables government to be more effective in communicating with citizens, and in providing services across the nation; and it supports business and the nation’s economic development.

“None of these can be achieved unless there is a reasonable level of community trust in media, and in the accountability of media to the public.”

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