Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has urged local journalists to practice responsible reporting in the Solomon Islands that is “above ordinary journalism”.
Speaking at Saturday night’s MASI (Media Association of Solomon Islands) World Press Freedom Day celebrations, Mr Sogavare, who is patron of MASI, said a journalists’ job was to serve the public.
“You must strive to always protect their (the public’s) interest by promoting a peaceful society,” Mr Sogavare said during the keynote address on Saturday night at the Honiara Hotel.
“This means as a journalist you must choose between ‘the right to know’ and the ‘duty-interest test’. The right to know may not always be in the interest of the public at large.”
The annual event, which brings together all facets of media in the Solomon Islands, is timed to coincide with World Press Freedom Day.
Mr Sogavare highlighted the need for ethical and responsible journalism in the Solomons, centered around truth and accuracy, independence, fairness and impartiality, humanity and accountability.
The night also saw a number of awards handed out, with SIBC radio journalist Kikiva Tuni taking out the broadcast journalist of the year award.
Other awards winners included The Island Sun’s Lynton Aaron, who won the young journalist of the year award, Teddy Kafo of the Solomon Star who won print journalist of the year and Ian Kaukui who took out the most improved award.