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Vision: To be a modern Parliament that fulfills its constitutional duties and effectively serves the people of Solomon Islands.


Parliament is adjourned until 9:30 am on Tuesday 27 November 2018.  

 
PARLIAMENT RECOGNISES THE ROLE OF MEDIA

MONDAY 3RD DECEMBER 2012

LEFT:MASI President,George Herming RIGHT:Deputy Speaker,Hon.Dudley Tausinga

The National Parliament of Solomon Islands through its Media Unit hosted a social media session on the 24th of November to recognise the important role that the media has played in informing people of what is happening in Parliament.

The social gathering was a testimony to the development and growth of the partnership that Parliament and the media have built and nurtured since the Media Unit was established in June 2011 as a new Department within the National Parliament Office.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Job Dudley Tausinga in his remarks during the gathering highlighted the important role that the media plays in achieving its objective as the legislature of the land.

“The importance of the media to the Parliament in achieving its objective as the legislature of the land is very much perpetual and is a prerequisite if the people of the land are to support its very role. “

It is an inherent vision that Parliament must fulfil its constitutional duties and effectively serve the people of Solomon Islands. And thus, as a democratically elected legislature, our mission is to ensure that Parliament exercises its legislative, its oversight role, and representation role and outreach duties effectively and that Parliament remains the main forum for national debate and decision making.”

Hon Tausinga said it is from this vision that consequently saw the making of the Parliament’s first ever Media Unit as it recognises the important role that the media plays in taking Parliament to the people.
Parliament as the highest decision making body of the land, its role, its scrutiny of issues and its decisions must be relevant to the people.

“Therefore, it is of great importance that the public must be informed of the issues discussed and the decision reached by Members of Parliament,” he said.
He told Members of the Media who gathered during that event that since the department is still in its infant stage, it is hoped that both the media and Parliament cultivate the relationship that has been nurtured as it is the people of this country who will be the ultimate beneficiaries of this bond now emerging between Parliament and the media.

He acknowledged that it is the media who have helped towards the achievements of the Media Department this year, but also warned that there is a lot more work to be done, a lot more collective efforts to face the challenges ahead.
He also warned that as responsible disseminators of information, the media must do that with great responsibility.

“In summation, I would like to reiterate that information mishandled can destroy a nation, therefore we are all responsible to disseminate comprehensive, informative, educative and accurate information and importantly in a responsible manner. I suppose this sums up media professionalism upon which we can earn the trust of the public and between ourselves. And out from this trust we can responsibly create the credibility and dignity of the people and their parliament.”

Minister of Communication and Aviation, Hon. Walter Folotalu who was the guest of honour for the event also made his remarks.
Hon Folotalu said as a Ministry that is accountable and responsible for communication, it recognises the important role that the media plays in taking Parliament to the people of Solomon Islands.
Because of that, Hon Folotalu assured members of the Media that the regulatory office within the Ministry will embark on developments to bridge and address the great digital divide which will greatly enhance the work of the media in information dissemination.

Another major development he has announced too is the establishment of the submarine fibre optic cable to Honiara which will be another milestone as the country is currently dependent on satellite which is very costly to run telecommunication services in the country.

Meanwhile, President of the Media Association of Solomon Islands, George Herming who spoke on behalf of Members of the Media said the event is special to all of the media, one that they will cherish for a long time since Parliament, one of the highest institutions of the land has recognised the media for its role in advocating and raising awareness about the role of Parliament to the people.

He said this is new a partnership between Parliament and the Media, although just started, sets out a new direction that will take democracy further down to all corners of the country.

“For many years, the silent and remote majority of our country faces huge challenges in their search to understand what Parliament is about. Many, including the media have faced difficulties in trying to access information about Parliament meetings, procedures and standards, parliamentary committees and many of us even struggle to understand the correct language and terminologies used in Parliament.”

George said, “I believed this partnership will change our communication approach as we move on with the democratic governance and development of our country. Sir I believe the establishment of the Parliament Media Unit and the proposed equipping of the Press Gallery with computers and access to internet will make media coverage of parliament meetings more effective, efficient and timely.”

He said such developments will absolutely make the work of journalists, photographers, television crew and broadcasters more convenient and less time consuming.

“I also believe that the establishment of the Media Unit will make relevant and accurate information readily available for the media to report on and this will prevent the problem of misreporting and to some extent irresponsible and biased coverage of issues debated in parliament.”

The President of MASI referred to coverage of Parliament reporting as a challenge because of the lack of access to information and the lack of understanding on the processes and even the role of Parliament.
He further said that access to views of Parliament Members on relevant national issues is event harder because Members choose to isolate themselves from questions due to their fear of the media.

“These challenges are at the forefront of bias, inaccurate and irresponsible reporting of Parliament meetings. And now that we have a Media Unit in Parliament, I hope these challenges will be reduced and eventually make parliamentary coverage in the media more professional and responsible as we move on.”

The MASI president said they will continue to support Parliament and its plans and aspirations to inform people about the role of Parliament in years ahead.

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