29 Feb 2008

Media workshop in Solomon Islands reinforces need for journalists to be well-informed

11:56 am on 29 February 2008

A regional media workshop underway in Honiara this week is reinforcing the need for journalists to be well-informed and conduits for dialogue between governments and their people.

The workshop called Development Journalism and Social Responsibility has been organised by the Commonwealth Press Union.

The Solomon Islands Forestry Minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, has told the workshop that media is partly to blame if Pacific people aren't made aware of the effects of climate change on their lives.

A Sri Lankan journalist and Commonwealth Press Union journalism trainer, Neville De Silva, says that climate change and other issues involve often complex scientific background that journalists need to learn about.

He says media empowerment can help the empowerment of ordinary people:

"We think that it's necessary not only to have top-down process of information from government and NGOs, civil society, to the people, but it must be a kind of dialogue and therefore the voice of the people must also be reflected. And we are trying to train journalists to look at these development issues. What are these issues? what are the problems facing people?"