LOCAL journalists attending a week-long Anti-Corruption Reporting, Promotion of Integrity, Transparency and Accountability training in Honiara were being told to write more investigative stories.
Vice President of the Media Association Solomon Islands (MASI) and Press Secretary to Prime Minister Douglas Marau reminded the journalists on their ‘watchdog’ role, when speaking at the close of workshop last Friday.
Marau highlighted that investigative journalism should be the backbone of the media industry and key ingredient for democracy because reporters have the responsibility to inform citizens about what is happening each day.
“I believe ten years ago investigative journalism may not be as crucial and important of today.
“Our society today is demanding more investigative stories than ever and yes, as journalist and reporters we have an obligation to provide the truth about people from authority and other entity and cooperation who attempt to keep their often illegal activities secret and to expose them so that they can be held accountable.
“Therefore the effective work of the media also depends on access to information and freedom of expression but most importantly the professional and ethical team of investigative journalists,” Mr Marau said.
He added that the role played by the media in curbing corruption has proved to be very ‘valuable’.
However, he believed that in order for the media to be strengthened and performed its role effectively; journalists must also start thinking seriously in providing the necessary forms of protection to journalist that might be under threat or risk that might endanger their lives in their line of duties.
Mr Marau said MASI is currently working with the government and other stakeholders to introduce a Media Protection Bill to supplement the recently passed Anti-Corruption Bill and Whistle Blowers Bills and also work towards facilitating the Media practitioner bill to raise the standard of integrity in the media industry.
By RONALD TOITO’ONA