By EDDIE OSIFELO
TRANSPARENCY Solomon Islands is urging politicians to embrace the digital era which no one has any control over.
Chief Executive Officer of Transparency Solomon Islands, Ruth Liloqula stated this during the Plenary session of the 6th Pacific Media Summit 2022 at Pacific Crown Hotel on Wednesday.
The theme of the session was: “The Media and Political Leadership in a Digital Age.”
Liloqula said political Leadership must embrace these new media as complementary to traditional media instead of trying to shut it down, block it out for their own agenda.
She said they need to work with other countries, journalists, and developers and owners of these new technologies to ensure people are protected and that the information shared online are well researched.
“For political leadership not to keep up with these new media tools would be a grave mistake,” she added.
One of the commonly use medium in the Solomon Islands is social media mainly Facebook besides Twitter, Instagram and others.
Liloqula said Solomon Islanders use social media for:
- Personal recreation, communication, and networking
- Accessing news stories, ignored by traditional media.
- Participate in social, political, and other campaigns
- Promote and coordinate social causes, donations, political issues, and problems and
- Participate in social and political debate.
She said into the future and the trends observed in the use of new media technologies will increasingly have impact on the domain of political leadership and politics as people realize it can contribute to: –
- Develop an understanding of issues of common interest and concern and offer solutions through debate.
- Proposing policies, reforms
- Offering different viewpoints to issues solutions that can help government’s institutions to plan effective policies.
- Fostering inclusion, equality, and democracy
- Promoting social justice and fundamental rights,
However, she said despite these positive features of the new media tools of the digital age, they still serve a complimentary role to the traditional media.
“The work of journalists, their analysis is crucial and essential and important to what information is put out for public consumption and getting it right.
“The information that can be accessed through these new media technologies must be well-researched, verified, and substantiated,” she said.
“Not only that but many people in the Pacific do not have access to these new media and nor do they have the know-how or the means,” she said.
The PMS ended last night with the retreat of all Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) financial members today.