Stop fuelling sensitive issues PNG Journalists told, says Ealedona


Journalists in Papua New Guinea have been reminded to uphold ethical standards when reporting on sensitive issues.

Former managing director of the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Joseph Ealedona, said journalists were duty bound to report fairly and accurately to avoid inflaming sensitive issues with their reports.

He reminded journalists to be impartial and always be objective and truth-seeking reporting conflicts.

He made reference to the Bougainville issue, saying duty of care must be taken when reporting.

“Bougainville is a sensitive issue where care must be taken to verify the reports before publishing it.”

Ealedona was speaking at the two-day workshop hosted by the United Nations Development Programme.

This is in consultation with the National Co-ordination Office of Bougainville Affairs and Autonomous Bougainville Government through its media and communication department.

The workshop was aimed at equipping journalists to:

– Report conflicts professionally without feeding the flames of conflict.

– Recognise that they can make a constructive difference during times of conflict and that they can do so without compromising their roles as providers of fair, accurate and responsible reporting.

– Help journalists recognise how they may unwittingly exacerbate conflict and encourage them to consider the impact of certain practices.

– Help journalists see how, by enhancing their understanding of conflict and the theories that explain it and that they can provide more informed, accurate and comprehensive coverage.

– Enable journalists to identify a variety of roles they can play in reporting on conflict and explore how by fulfilling these roles, they can make a difference.

– Suggest strategies that journalists can adopt in reporting on conflict.

– Provide some simple but useful tips and points that can assist journalists in reporting effectively on conflict.

– And also show how, by approaching conflict stories in different ways, journalists can make a diverse range of contributions toward peace

Ealedona who was a regional award wining journalist reporting on Bougainville during the height of the crisis, shared his experiences and in doing so encouraged journalists to exercise media freedom with responsibility towards nation building and unity.

He said journalists must consider the impact of their news reports whether they are inflaming the situation or correcting misperceptions among different parties.

United Nations Development Programme assistant resident representative, Julie Bukikun, said the objective of the workshop was to ensure journalists are fair and credible in their reporting.