Tuesday, 16 February 2010 8:35 AM

Awards for Local Journalists

When Solomon Star refaced its old news website with what they believed is a more user friendly one, it did spark some interesting discussions which somehow dragged with it some thoughtful followings on www.lifhaus.com.sb

The pioneer of the well followed discussion actually claimed that with the improved website, Solomon Star is rising. But other critics that followed stormed in with comments that actually opened the discussion to a wider perspective.

It was obvious from the discussion that even though the sight of improvement to Solomon Islands' leading daily newspaper is a sign of development in the Solomon Islands Media industry, others are still coming away with complains that the contents of their papers do not worth the $5s that one cast each day to read them.
With lack of scrutiny for grammatical errors, badly written reports.

The discussion did have a turn when one contributor said that most of the local journalists are "observer reporters" and I quote:"There are times when they group up with several people for casual talk, and the next time one realize that casual talk become news headline on print paper. I would say that is not constructive or investigative journalism."

Non-journalists like me would be bitterly wrong to step into a journalist's shoes but side line stories like the above revelations will help me shout out the concern that something must be wrong and that is, according to me, quality is lacking in our local media.

I think people start to realize that they need quality journalism, something worth spending money for, entertaining yet informative and true. I believe that we can't come away with that unless there is a booster program for journalists that will sort of drive them towards that mark. I just wonder whether MASI has ever thought of awards for local journalists and media organizations.

Something like, awards for the writer of the year, the most investigative writer of the year or perhaps the year's best news website and so forth.

Endeavors like that will surely turn things around and I believe once embarked on will surely see some sort of trying by journalists-something which I believe will yield better journalism for both the development of the country and everyone's enjoyment.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Harold Iroasi Maesulia and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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