Dear Editor – We are at the start of New Year and my hopes for a better year, and future, for the Solomon Islands focuses I believe on re-creating national unity and on ethical journalism and the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair, truthful and thorough, ethical standards MASI is working hard to achieve in the Solomon Islands.
I see the need for four principles of ethical journalism and encourage MASI to encourage their use by all those engaged in the local media.
– Seek Truth and Report It
– Minimize Harm
– Act Independently
– Be Accountable and Transparent.
Since launching my website in 2014 to give voluntary help to the Solomon Islands by way of ethically reporting news there are already over 2600 articles on Linkedin and well more than 1 million hits on the blog posts.
We all know that bad news and the kind of civil disturbances that occurred last month in Honiara sell stories and local journalist very much kept to the facts, unlike some of the untruthful reporting of events in offshore newspapers.
In one inaccurate news story in the Australian the writer of the piece said the SI Parliament had been burned down.
The true facts were that a leaf house in the Parliament grounds, used for making coffee during MPs break time, had been set alight.
Dr. Anouke Ride in her latest paper on the Honiara riots cast some wide implications for the troubles but all seemed to boil down to historical causes of the past and lost opportunities by the Australians and earlier during the period of Colonialisation under British administration.
Dr Ride, however, did give some useful advice on a way forward and one would hope the opportunity will not be lost on the government in examining her points and implementing what is considered practical and achieveable.
Dr Anouk Ride is an Affiliate Researcher with Australian National University and with the Initiative for Peacebuilding, University of Melbourne. She researches conflict, interpersonal violence, gender and social inclusion and is based in Solomon Islands.