Day: May 3, 2021

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In its efforts to continue to support the role of the mainstream media, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG), through its Promoting Anti-corruption and Integrity Strategies (PAIS) project is now enhancing its engagement with the PNG media and Civil Society Organizations.

Over the course of the next ten months, TIPNG will be facilitating a series of engagements with mainstream media and civil society organizations. These engagements will include investigative journalism skills training for reporters, and number of collaborative engagements targeted at fostering a stronger link between media and civil society organizations, through resource sharing and best practice.

As the first of these formal engagements, TIPNG hosted a Media Event to commemorate World Press Freedom Day yesterday (May 3rd, 2021). With the theme for this year being “Information as a public good,” the event will also coincide with the official launch of TIPNG’s inaugural 2021 Investigative Journalism Awards.

The goal of the 2021 Investigative Journalism Awards is to encourage professional journalists to investigate, follow through and expose issues involving corruption and breakdown of governance processes.

“Investigative reporting, is an integral part of journalism and plays a crucial role in bringing corruption to light and fighting against impunity. This makes it absolutely vital to ensuring our government remains a true functioning democracy,” said Mr Aitsi.

“TIPNG is dedicated to supporting the PNG media, as a critical facet of our democracy. To further boost the impact of investigative journalism in PNG we are now rolling out this media engagement series to support capacity building, as well as the establishment of an active coalition on transparent and accountable governance, as well as reliable information networks to compliment the functions of newsrooms around the country,” he said.

The PAIS project is a TIPNG initiative which is funded by the European Union, under the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights. The current media engagement program is one of several TIPNG initiatives targeted at supporting the evolution of an independent and empowered mainstream media sector in PNG.

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In a bid to support mainstream media newsrooms and encourage more and better-quality investigative reporting in PNG, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has now launched its 2021 Investigative Journalism Awards initiative.

The 2021 Investigative Journalism Awards is an initiative by Transparency International PNG to recognize and encourage local journalists to take on the challenge of investigative reporting. Following the official launch of the awards during a TIPNG media engagement event yesterday, nominations are now open to all mainstream media journalists throughout PNG, under the following categories:

  1. INVESTIGATION INTO STATUTORY APPOINTMENTS AND USE OF PUBLIC MONEY: This category will focus on investigative journalism into administrative reforms on the appointments by merit and financial audits of public money including the procurement process by government.
  2. INVESTIGATION INTO SEPARATION OF POWERS: For this category, professional journalists are encouraged to thoroughly investigate the separation of powers and report on abuses of process and power within the three arms of government.
  3. OPEN CATEGORY: This category encourages journalists to discover and expose facts on cases of corruption at all levels of society and to expose any scandals. This includes, but is not limited to; Malpractice within law enforcement agencies, Political influence in the electoral process, Bribery cases in the elections, Governance of political parties, Transnational crimes and Sub-national level governance.

TIPNG Board Chair, Peter Aitsi with the firm backing of PNG Media Council President Neville Choi added the initiative that would be a step towards to rebuilding and reinforcing an investigative journalism in PNG.

“The media’s role in exposing cases of corruption and malpractice simply cannot be understated. And while we have had a few notable victories over the years, we know that a strong, ethical and consistent investigative reporting culture in PNG Media can also be a strong deterrent and a powerful tool for ensuring that those in power do not abuse that power,” said Mr Aitsi.

“The role of journalists in our country today is even more crucial than before, in not just uncovering, but spotlighting instances of corruption. And to move from just reporting on it, to including informative opinions to highlight and be bold to publicly hold leaders in both the private and public sector to account,” said Mr Choi.

The 2021 Investigative Journalism Awards is a TIPNG initiative under our Promoting Anti-corruption & Integrity Strategies (PAIS) project, which is funded by the European Union and supported by the Media Council of PNG. Winners will be announced during the second National Integrity Summit in February next year. For more information on the awards please contact our team at TIPNG.

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