Share accurate information

Editorial

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 now is accurate, consistent and regular information.
Let’s be honest, a lot of our people who don’t have much education are gullible to whatever information is spread and that is how panic will start.
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.
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 should 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.
Therefore timing is important to disclose crisis information in addition to the content of crisis communication.
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 rumours relating to coronavirus in PNG is one of the many concerns.
Such rumours does nothing good but only create unnecessary panic in the society.
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.

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