Author Archives: dorahgawi

Rights of a journalist

Participants of the IFJ Media Rights Monitoring and Reporting Workshop. Photo by Belinda Kora.

“What are the rights of a journalist”?

That was a question posed to me and 8 of my colleagues who attended a workshop recently in Port Moresby, based on the International Federation of Journalists Media Rights Monitoring and Reporting.

Rights? Most of us in the room never really thought we had any rights as practicing journalists in the mainstream media.

Maybe rights as a citizen and a human being, but as a journalist?

Our facilitator Ms. Titi Gabi a veteran journalist in PNG took us through the workshop, explaining the rights we have as per the Constitution on the Freedom to Information and the Freedom of Expression.

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Journos on tour down under

Australian Emblem. Image by Dorah Gawi.

Passengers traveling to Brisbane on Air Nuigini flight PX 201 make your way into the departure lounge for boarding”.

This was the start of 5 weeks of fellowship training on Reporting of Economic Life within our communities, sponsored by the Asia-Pacific Journalism Center in Melbourne, Australia.

If your were like me, traveling to a foreign land, you would probably know about the nerves that some how accompany these trips overseas.

Will I get lost? I wonder what Melbourne is like? Will I even make it past customs in Brisbane, with all the recent hype on terrorism threats in the West?

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Doing business not easy in PNG

William Ire is a betelnut vendor who sells his wares each day, from betelnut, cigarettes, soft drinks and biscuits near his home at 5 Mile in Port Moresby, and has been doing this for the past 8 years.

And now William says he wants to venture into selling second hand clothes, which has become a lucrative income earner for many locals wishing to start small businesses in Port Moresby and other parts of the country, because there is a big demand for fashionable, yet affordable clothing in PNG.

Second hand clothing. Image by martu-mq

William says he has saved up enough capital, over K8,000 to venture into this business, and getting a loan won’t be a problem, because he has saved with Micro finance, who provide loans for starting businesses, and who by chance, charge a very low interest rate.

However, he says, the business may take along time to open its doors, because there are a lot of processes involved in setting up a business in PNG, and true to his word, this is the scenario being faced in the country at the moment

Statistics on Doing Business in PNG, which is a report provided by the International Finance Corporation and World Bank, which measures Business Regulations of different economies, ranks PNG 103 out of 183 countries on the ease of starting a business.

This is mainly due to the long process in filling out paper work and seeking approval from various Government departments like the Lands and Physical Planning, Environment and Conservation and even the health department for licenses to be signed, and also registering the company and getting the tax authorities approval, will cost more money, meaning William maybe paying almost half of his savings to get all these licenses approved and register his company has well.

Williams plan of opening a second hand shop maybe a problem, as well, because he has to fill out more forms with customs to import clothing from Australia, which could take another month or two and cost more money.

So William like many Papua New Guineans and potential business investors from overseas at the end of the day, have to get through so much processes and procedures in order to open a business , which puts locals at a disadvantage, because most may not have enough capital to pay for all the costs , on top of that they will have to wait along time to eventually get their businesses off the ground.

PNG Fisheries: A gold mine of the Pacific.

I may not be a fishermen, but I provide a great service for the local fishermen in the area, by providing a market for them to sell their catch”.

Wesley Pialkolos is an electrical engineer cum fishing entrepreneur in the New Ireland Province of Papua New Guinea.

What he does each day is buy fresh fish from the fishermen around the island of New Hanover and Kavieng, to sell to hotels in Port Moresby and other parts of the country. And because he has a freezer that he purchased himself, and also pays for the shipping of fish, lobsters and crabs, he provides a great service to the locals.

Mr. Pialkolos is one of many Papua New Guinean’s who have seen the potential of the fishing industry and have ventured into this sector in order to make money and also relieve the stress faced by local fishermen to find markets.

Local fish markets. Image by Dhammika.

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Rising fuel prices heavy on the pocket.

Feeling the pinch of the rising cost of fuel prices?

Image by Attribution Some rights reserved by marioanima

Along with it comes the rise in basic commodities like rice, tinned fish and many of the staples that many, i believe are stuggling to purchase, especially in our districts.

The government continues to reassure us that life will get alot easier, but believe it or not, it doesn’t change much, because fuel will continue to rise, which means transportion costs will shoot up as well, which means you fork out more from your pocket for food, clothing and other necessacities.

Owners of Public transpotation in Port Moresby are already demanding a rise in fares for this year from 80 toea to a kina, and there is a likely chance that the Independent Consumer Competition (ICCC) may approve.

How are you faced with the rise in fuel prices in your area?