Patron of the Media Association of Solomon Islands, Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare has encouraged members of the Media Association of Solomon Islands to reflect on the key role they play in the society in the collection and dissemination of information.
The encouragement comes as MASI and its member media organisations in the country join media practitioners across the globe to mark the 2017 World Press Freedom Day which falls on May 3.
MASI will be hosting the 2017 Press Freedom Day and Awards Night in Honiara on May 13 in commemoration of the World Press Freedom Day.
“The key role the media plays in collecting and disseminating information cannot be underestimated. It has the potential of influencing or shaping public opinion and decisions on issues affecting the society.
“As such as media practitioners the world-over mark the World Press Freedom Day, I encourage the Media Association of Solomon Islands and its member organisations to reflect on the key role they play in our society.
“Media practitioners in Solomon Islands must be conscious at all times that this key role, comes with the key responsibility of ensuring independence of any personal, commercial and political interests that could jeopardise their objectivity when reporting on issues impinging on these interests,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
As the Patron of MASI, the Prime Minister said he is pleased that MASI with the guidance of its Australian Media Consultant has revised the MASI Media Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethic is crucial to ensure the practice of ethical journalism in Solomon Islands.
“Responsible reporting requires that journalists comply with their professional code of ethics.”
Prime Minister Sogavare also welcome the intention of MASI to establish, in collaboration with the Government, a Media Ombudsman – a first ever for the Pacific Region.
He said as a commitment to ensuring that the Media conform to higher standard, the Government will continue to work with MASI to establish such a body which will be able address issues that concern the Media and journalists.