Port Moresby: On the occasion of celebrating the Feast of St Francis de Sales, seasoned broadcaster Peter Sindra, Radio Talkback Host and Director for Radio Programs from the National Broadcasting Corporation shared his journey with young media personnel to encourage them in their journey.
(Radio Talkback Host and Director for Radio Programs from the National Broadcasting Personnel Peter Sindra speaking during the Feast of St Francis de Sales celebration at CBC)
While presenting his topic of discussion: Media and its role in voicing the issues of children, Sindra stressed that children are a vulnerable group in our society, therefore, as media personnel, we have to be guided by our code of ethics when reporting on sensitive cases that involve children.
“I’ve been in the media industry for a long time and I’ve covered stories involving children, both good and bad and I have also noticed that sometimes we media personnel get carried away by the need to ‘break the news’ that we often forget about our code of ethics.”
He also highlighted the risks media personnel put themselves into intentionally or unintentionally whilst covering stories relating to children, especially the sensitive ones that involve incest, rape, and SARV etc.
“When we cover sensitive cases involving children, we have to bear in mind that they belong to a family, a community, a church, a tribe, and to the society as a whole. Not everyone will agree on the angle we choose to tell the story; thus, it is always important to tell the truth and be guided by our code of ethics.”
Sindra also stressed the need to respect the rights and privacy of children while telling their stories.
“In 1998, two days after the tsunami in Sissano, Aitape, I was part of the first media team that arrived to cover the story. I encountered a young boy who was in great pain as he had lost part of his leg but despite that, I still went ahead and interviewed him in that state because I wanted to show the viewers the vulnerable state that he was in.”
He shared that as he reflects on how he conducted the interview back then, he should have taken a different approach, one that would have given the young boy the choice of whether to give his consent or not.
Sindra appreciates the media industry for allowing him to bring out the voice of the voiceless and encouraged the young media personnel to be faithful in being the voice of the people and grasp opportunities to learn as they come.
Meanwhile, veteran journalist Anna Solomon from Wantok Niuspepa in her remarks challenged the experienced people in the media industry to give Media Education Seminars to students to guide them on how they can best use the media and different social media platforms to share inspiring stories of events being attended by young people to inspire others and help them make good life choices.
Solomon thanked the Social Communications Commission for initiating the panel discussion to bring together media personnel and the church representatives to discuss the issues of children and ways forward on how we as a society can help them.
She concluded by encouraging the young media personnel to take pride in their profession in being the vessel that serves to disseminate news to the masses.