Apart from PUBLIC RELATIONS for mining companies and GOVERNMANT AGENCIES that are tasked to regulate mining operations, how can the MAIN STREAM MEDIA have an impact on mining and development in general?
The ASIA PACIFC JOURNALISM CENTRE through it’s MINING, MEDIA and DEVELOPMENT-Regional Knowledge Sharing Training program, currenty underway for journalists in the Asia-Pacific region, aims to highlight some pending issues that many developing countries often encounter with mining investments.
One major highlight is the role that JOURNALISTS in main stream media can play in ensuring that mining companies are conducting their operations with MINIMAL NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS and MANAGEMENT measures, FAIR sharing of BENEFITS derived from the mine project, and TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY by the companies on the host communties, who ARE often ILLITERATE and RURAL-BASED.
As a radio and television broadcast journalist in Papua New Guinea, a developing nation that is commemorating it’s 38 years of self independence on the 16th of September this year, the APJC program will greatly complement my work in the province of East New Britain.
With a mine currently operating under New Guinea Gold Limited, 2 explorations underway by Ok Tedi Mining Limited, and negotiations for a world first seabed mining by Nautilus Minerals Ltd on the radar, there is a great need for me as an informer, to make sure I am able to get the necessary information I need to do my work and in turn educate the mass audience in a province where radio is the main medium for disseminating news and information.
So unlike PRs and state agencies, main stream media should not have attachments to any of those parties already represented, but be a watch dog and do a check and balance through news reports, which at the end of the day, can have a positive impact on development from mining.