Give people the right info, the right way


IN times of crises, accurate information is important if we are to maintain order and for people to remain calm.
When there is no information flowing, people will be susceptible to rumours and that does not help anyone.
What our people need right is accurate, consistent and regular information.
The mayhem especially in Port Moresby on Monday is the result of confusion.
The amount of information (both fact and misinformation) that were shared on the different social media platforms was enormous that one becomes inundated in it.
All information should be tailored to the specific situation which can then increase the efficiency of information dissemination and provide people with more time and more accurate information to be informed and make better decisions.
Let’s be honest, a lot of our people who don’t have much education are gullible to whatever information is spread.
The risk posed to all journalist is high as they come into contact with the many different people as they strive to get news during this period.
But in times like this, the media has a role to play in such times but we need clarity from people who are supposed to be in the know like those in the task force.
As a newspaper, we understand our role – we will not sensationalise to make money but provide as much information as we can on the Coronavirus.
In the modern era the number of communication channels has rapidly increased.
Information technology development has made the transfer of information easy and fast in all aspects of human activity.
The mainstream media has today taken on an undeclared competitor.
In an ideal scenario, the social media, via internet applications and the multitude of
local blogs, must necessarily complement the traditional media.
Where mainstream newspapers, radio and television are inhibited by situations such
as geographical location or censorship and commercial considerations, the social media could and should be the available option.
The intensive flow of information ensures information needed for good decision-making.
The value of information refers to the price a decision-maker is ready to pay before a decision is made.
This indicates the importance of accessing the right information at the right time.
In case information is not accessible at the right time, it loses its value.
However, in the absence of any legal control or monitoring of the use of social media, it is open to widespread abuse.
And the many opinions relating to the deferral of the writs is one of the many concerns.
Such opinions do nothing good but only create unnecessary panic.
The media’s job in maintaining balance between truth and public perception and in ensuring always to remain just and objective is now being challenged with social media.
With the click of a button, thanks to social media, news about murder, rape, car theft and many more in the country are uploaded, even if it just rumours.
Someone has to take on the responsibility of telling the truth about public issues and controversies and that is the mainstream media’s role to extract truth from public officials or is it incumbent upon them to provide it?
Used correctly and with proper control mechanisms, it can result in positive development for the individual as well as the community at large.
Our role is to help disseminate accurate, consistent and regular information.
Once again, we need those in authority to trust the traditional media and use its available platforms to disseminate information for the public to read, watch and hear.