Minister Calls for more Environmental Impact Reporting: Announces New Media Development Policy Nearing Cabinet Endorsement

Monday 6 May, 2023

Minister for Information and Communications Technology, Hon Timothy Masiu, emphasized the influential role of media in addressing the pressing environmental challenges facing the globe, during the World Press Freedom Day celebration at the University of PNG, on Friday 3 May 2024.

Highlighting the theme “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis,” the Minister reiterated the media’s ability to influence public discourse and drive action towards environmental conservation.

“This year, as we convene under the global theme ‘A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of the Environmental Crisis,’ we are reminded of the critical role that the media plays in shaping public discourse and catalysing action on environmental conservation issues,” stated Mr Masiu.

“The power of the press to inform, educate, and mobilize communities towards sustainable solutions cannot be overstated.”

Mr Masiu  commended the Journalism Students Society for bringing together a diverse panel of experts, which showcased valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Moreover, the Minister unveiled significant progress in the formulation of the National Media Development Policy for Papua New Guinea, stating,  the policy was in its final stages of vetting and clearance for approval by  Cabinet.

“The policy aims to have a proactive approach on media professional development for quality, content, and responsibility through schools of journalism, bridging journalism practice training, and awareness,” the Minister explained.

He further elaborated on the media policy’s provisions, adding, “It will also pave the way for legislation for the establishment of more effective self-regulatory mechanisms at the practitioner’s level, including mechanisms for establishing media professionals’ body with their own code of ethics, a complaint receiving body on media issues, and a media arbitration tribunal.”

Upon approval, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) will spearhead the implementation of the policy in collaboration with key stakeholders. The Minister called on all stakeholders, including development partners, to support the policy’s effective execution.

“The Media Policy and the Freedom of Information Policy that is in drafting demonstrate the Marape-Rosso Government’s commitment to supporting initiatives that promote press freedom and media development in our country,” he affirmed.

“The government is dedicated to upholding the principles of press freedom, journalistic integrity, and environmental responsibility as Papua New Guinea approaches its 50th year of Independence, and I urged collective action to harness the power of the press for a more just, equitable, and sustainable future for generations to come.”

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