Media’s role in GBV reporting challenged

Media Personnel in Port Moresby were privileged to be part of the Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council’s, Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee Workshop.

The workshop highlighted approaches to writing sensitive issues especially when reporting on Family and Sexual Violence and Sorcery related violence.

The importance of protecting survivors and victims as well as awareness to change public mindsets was top of the agenda.

Deputy Executive Officer of CIMC, Henry Yamo, said gender based violence incidences are reported everyday on the media, however the challenge is to give more distinction to gender base violence incidences in media reporting.

“To clearly distinguish and highlight gender based violence it is essential to frame some guidelines to assist the media reporting.”

Meantime, Dr Lawrence Kalinoe as the Chairman of the Family and Sexual Violence Action Committee, stressed the importance of reporters having greater understanding of these issues thus producing quality content, impacting the society as an agent of change.

“You’ve been trained as a journalist to report fairly and impartially but you can do a bit more.

“We are trying to influence thinking, we are trying to influence national conscious. We are trying to over time shape the way in which we want our society to be.”

US Ambassador to PNG, Her Excellency, Catherine Ebert Gray, who is always very vocal about violence related issues, highlighted how PNG is held back in all aspects of development due to violence.

She said, “Arresting family violence and combating sorcery is one of my personal priorities for Papua New Guinea.

This is not the first time for the Ambassador to be in PNG. She was here some 25 years ago.

“To have my long term view and see how far you’ve come, makes me more optimistic that the issue of violence is something we can tackle together because it’s holding you back in your economy too.

“People are missing work and school because of issues of violence and sorcery. It’s clogging your hospital emergency rooms, its clogging your courts. It’s getting in the way of progress in this country in so many ways.”

Ambassador Gray however said the international community is proud that a lot of progress has been done in addressing the different forms of violence in societies.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy is a major partner in supporting the work of CIMC in addressing these social issues.

Charmaine Poriambep