1 Sep 2018

Nauru welcomes media group to Pacific Islands Forum

7:56 am on 1 September 2018

The Nauru President has welcomed members of the media to the Pacific Islands Forum by reminding them that it is important for them to be reliable in the age of social media.

Nauru President, Baron Waqa, addresses members of the media

Nauru President, Baron Waqa, addresses members of the media Photo: PI Forum Secretariat

Baron Waqa addressed the Pacific Islands News Association's Pre-Forum Media Workshop.

Mr Waqa said he hoped the workshop would add value and guide patricpants in writing news that would inform and educate people on the forum meeting.

He said a journalist's job is of extreme importance in today's media environment.

"As gatekeepers, you ultimately mould and conduct what is being published to the masses, ultimately shaping their views and opinions of the world whether fact or gossip," Mr Waqa said.

"With the fast developing world of social media and wanna-be journalists, the lines that distinguish real journalism and baseless or fake news become blurred."

The Nauru government has come under heavy criticism from international media groups for their decision to ban Australia's public broadcaster, the ABC, from entering the country to cover the Forum meeting.

Nauru said the ban was due to the ABC's blatant interference in Nauru's domestic politics prior to the 2016 election and the harassment of its president.

Earlier Pacific Islands News Association, or PINA, which is made up of most media bodies in the Pacific, said it wanted Nauru to rescind the decision.

PINA president Kora Nou said the Forum summit makes decisions that directly impact on the people of the Pacific, so it was imperative that Nauru, the ABC and the Forum try and resolve the matter.

Mr Nou had also appealed to journalists to exercise responsibility in their coverage.

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