By Gary Hatigeva
A total of 13 reporters from five Media Organisations, including Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) are currently participating in a two days training on Budget Reporting in Solomon Islands.
This comes as part of a capacity building program for media reporting on major issues in the pacific.
This is made possible through the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) under the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), in collaboration with the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI), supported by Aus Aid.
With the inclusion of representatives from the Budget Unit within the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, the training aims to give local journalists insights to matters involved in how budgets are formulated.
The training also provides journalists in-depth knowledge of the technical aspects of budgets, with anticipations to help in the reporting of government budgets.
Media representatives get to hear from specialists and divisions of their roles and responsibilities in relation to the budgeting processes, both within the Ministry of Finance and the National Parliament.
Officially opening the session, Clerk to the National Parliament, Clezy Rore reminded participants to take on board the knowledge and skills that is shared in the duration of the training, to assist them in their strife for good journalism. Which is to genuinely and accurately inform, educate and raise awareness on the developments that are happening in the heart of the country’s democracy.
“The objective of this workshop is helping local journalists understand the national budget and its processes and how journalists can translate this to the citizens.
“It will enable you to report on the budget accurately and give a proper account to our citizens as well as build closer links with Parliamentary officers and Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) officers who are directly involved in the budget process,” the Parliament Clerk stressed.
Also gracing the official opening of the training, Chairman of the Bills and Legislation Committee and MP for Aoke/Langalanga, Matthew Wale, further pointed out that it is important journalists understand what they will be writing and reporting on, before presenting cases to their audiences.
He added that this also applies to budget reporting, where it is vitally important for journalists to understand their cores and technicalities in order to simplify them for public consumption.
“It is a responsibility that the country relies on for an informed populace,” the BLC Chair added.