I am writing to express my disappointment and grave concern over a continuous irresponsible and misleading media reporting for public consumption to date. The current status of media reporting raise a serious question about their professionalism, standard of their code of ethics and their motive of reporting.
Vanuatu is a peaceful and happiest nation in the region and it is government’s desire to keep it that way and continue to enhance its status as a place where citizens and non-citizens can live, work, and share the benefits of our development effort together.
I am greatly concerned over the ways and manners media outlets manipulated stories and reported for public consumption. In particular, I would like to draw your attention to Daily Post as one of the key media outlets in Vanuatu. It is crucial that MAV reminded the owner and its journalist to take extra responsibility to ensure their reporting are balanced, factual, and responsible.
Vanuatu is one of the countries in the region that promote media freedom and over the years Government has established policies and legislative frameworks to create a conducive environment for media freedom. The right to information is one of the efforts in that respect and as a Minister responsible for media I intended to pursue this further but in a way that media contribute to promote peace, social inclusion, unity, and happiness.
In addition, one of the reasons to establish Media Association of Vanuatu(MAV) and Pacific Island News Association(PINA) is to ensure registered media outlets carry out their duties and responsibilities within media ethics and good governance principles. It is a pity to see how key media outlets in Vanuatu, such as Daily Post, continue to report issues, stories, and incidents that incite anger, feeling of remorse, and unhealthy stories that does not contribute to peaceful mind, peaceful environment, and happiness of each citizen, visiting friends and tourists.
It is now appearing that what Media in Vanuatu is interested on are issues such as “rape, fighting, and issues that create division and fighting feelings. Whilst we are aware that media has a liberty to report on anything it is critical to ensure that any public reporting must be balanced and based on real facts.
The reason of my letter to you is to seek your urgent intervention and how you can ensure that all media outlets and members of civil society work collaboratively with Government to maintain Vanuatu’s image as a happiest place to live, work, and experience a meaningful living.