Media urged to ask hard questions

The mainstream media have been urged to ask the hard questions to both government and extractive resource players as they owe it to the people.

Vice President of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Richard Kassman, said this during the opening of the PNG Resources Sector media workshop on Thursday.

Kassman also called on the media to make reference to the constitution and remind everyone of their basic rights.

Speaking to industry communication specialists and mainstream media representatives, Kassman said the media plays an important role in these trying times, especially in the aftermath of the Mineral Resources Act (MRA) 1992 legislative changes.

He urged the media to use the constitution as its guide and to highlight the basic rights of the people.

“It talks about the wise use, it talks about spreading that benefit to wider Papua New Guineans. So it’s important for us in a workshop like this to make reference to our constitution which set up our country.

“In that way we can work our way through a lot of the political rhetoric, a lot of the misguided things that are happening in our country so we turn back to fundamentals so we can move ourselves forward,” he said

Kassman also called on the media not to rely on prepared information from industry players but to also ask the hard questions and to also speak to people in the rural areas.

“Let’s learn and work closely together and be challenged. I ask the media, you challenge us. It’s important that we respond. And ask us questions outside of the press releases, because we are prepared to have that discourse and the public, the people of Papua New Guinea deserve to know what’s behind that.”

Kassman reiterated the stance of the industry regarding the changes to the Mineral Resources Act (MRA) 1992 which they believe will shake investor confidence.

Cedric Patjole