Media trained in oil and gas reporting

Business, Normal

The National, Wednesday 09th November 2011

IT is important for media workers to understand how the mining and petroleum industry operates so that they can report with in context, an oil and gas specialist Michael McWalter said.
The petroleum adviser to the Department of Petroleum and Energy encouraged reporters to step up on investigative journalism and report properly on issues in the industry.
Journalists from the main steam media plus public relations officers from various mining and petroleum companies attended a two-day workshop on the resource sector organised by the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum at the Lamana Hotel last Friday and Saturday.
McWalter, who had a vast experience in the industry, explained various processes and procedures involved in the industry.
Speaking on PNG Oil and Gas Act, he said it was one of the best pieces of legislations compared to other countries and the fiscal regime was well-covered.
McWalter showed copies of a “White Paper” prepared by Sir Michael Somare as Prime Minister and Sir Julius Chan as Finance Minister in the early days which formed the basis of a legal frame work and praised the two “founding fathers” for a well thought-out piece of legislation. 
“PNG legislation is well conceived with all rules of the game stated in the act but it is the management process that fails,” McWalter said.
He said despite many resource activities going on, people were yet to see real benefits of their resource and that was due to lack of proper management of the revenue stream.
The participants were presented with certificates of participation from the chamber at the conclusion of the workshop.
The journalists said they found the workshop informative and that it would create a good relationship and networking between the media and those in the mining and petroleum industry.
Editor of Wantok newspaper and secretary of PNG Media Council Neville Choi thanked the chamber for hosting such a rare workshop for the media industry.