The recent media-training program was facilitated by media rep, Rosa Koian in Port Moresby. It was supported by International Foundation for Electoral Systems through ABC International Development.
COVID-19 and the importance of protecting information integrity were the focus of the workshop. They looked at three types of 'Wrong Information' that caused hesitancy and clouded judgement amongst people who need reliable information. It covered Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation.
Because of an overload of information accessible through social media platforms, Ms Koian cautioned participants to remember to discern factual information when reporting it to the wider public space. Doing research is the best thing to do, before perceiving any information as fact, and putting it out.
Participants expressed how the role of journalists is fundamental in ensuring the right information is passed through the Church connections and on to the community, as people tend to trust the Church more.
Social media has erupted a negative force in society by spreading fear and uncertainty since the pandemic hit our shores and that of the world over. Thus it is key for journalists to be cautious in their reports especially amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, as there are too many types of information but only needs to distinguish that which is factual.
Alison Anis, Communications Officer for CIMC Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee (CIMC FSVAC) said during the workshop that people can make better decisions and choices when well informed.
Participants learnt that it is vital to give out properly researched information that is factual and beneficial for the mass population during this time of pandemic.