Judge warns journalists to avoid poor reporting


A JUDGE has warned journalists to avoid “sensationalism” in their reporting because it could lead to defamation.
Justice Sir Bernard Sakora made the comment on Friday at the Waigani National Court after he found the newspaper Post Courier guilty of defaming a lawyer in an article published on Aug 2, 2010.
Sir Sakora said journalists were protected under the law to report without any hindrances.
But he said that freedom came with responsible reporting.
He said journalists must always be careful of what they reported because they had the power to influence the minds of people.
Sir Sakora said investigative reporters should always ensure to have all the facts to justify
their reports before publishing them.
He also warned that the standard of reporting had also been undermined because reporters often relied on press statements rather than going out to look for news.
He urged journalists to always try to make their stories simple to read and understand.
Sir Sakora said reporters must always ensure to balance to their stories.
“If you don’t report news properly, you will be the news next time,” he said.

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