Sunday, December 12, 2010

[pima.nius] REGION: Moala cites 'media reponsibility' in democracy at peace journalism symposium

10:42 AM |

Title – 7161 REGION: Moala cites 'media reponsibility' in democracy at peace journalism symposium
Date – 7 December 2010
Byline – Nasik Swami
Origin – Pacific Media Watch
Source – Fiji Sun, 11/12/10
Copyright – FS
Status – Unabridged
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By Nasik Swami

SUVA (Fiji Sun/Pacific Media Watch): The role that the media and civil societies play in strengthening democracy and social cohesion was discussed in a symposium in Suva yesterday.

Leading journalists and educators from the Pacific shared their views on peace journalism in a symposium organised by the University of the South Pacific.

Highlighting the need for responsible journalism, Tongan broadcaster and newspaper publisher Kalafi Moala said journalists were often "irresponsible".

"Media practitioners are trained to do their job without being responsible to the social outcome that their performance produces," Moala said.

Focusing on the importance of responsible journalism, Moala said these days it was like, "I am not responsible to how people respond to my message and the method of delivery."

Moala said: "When a media engagement contributes to positive changes, there is an inevitable forward movement in regards to the development of peaceful relations as well as construction of a healthy, harmonious and a prosperous society."

With the role of media being crucial in development works, Moala said the works of media could also be a tool of destruction.

"Media can be a partner in achieving the socio-development goals of a society or it can be a pest that eats away the strengths and good things of a society."

As democracy affects most of the works of the media in the Pacific, Moala said democracy had been wrongly touted in the region as a panacea that would solve all Pacific problems.

He added that what was right was always good for the society and what was right was always to build up rather than tear down.

* PMW editor: Other keynote speakers at the symposium were associate professor David Robie, director of AUT University's Pacific Media Centre in New Zealand, who spoke on peace journalism and the Pacific, and Nigerian senior lecturer Dr  Levi Obijiofor at the University of Queensland. A developing nation media specialist, Dr Obijiofor gave a case study on the Niger Delta tribal economy and conflict with multinational oil companies and Nigerian government.

A responding media panel included Fiji Times senior business journalist Elenoa Baselala, Mai Magazine editor Ricardo Morris and University of the South Pacific broadcast lecturer Nash Sorariba from Papua New Guinea, Several NGO conflict -resolution campaigners also spoke at the seminar.

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