The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) through its Media and Communications Department successfully hosted a one-day Business and Economic Reporting Workshop on Friday 18 September, 2020.

The training workshop targeted young journalists from key media organizations. It is part of the Chamber’s strategy to build a critical and meaningful partnership with the mainstream media with the aim to support capacity building of local journalists to report on business and economic development issues.

The workshop covered the basics of business reporting and why Business Journalism is relevant for media professionals, the relevance of economic reporting and the need for high standards.

Chief Economics Statistician from the National Statistics Office (NSO), Mr Andrew Kakate was guest speaker during the workshop who presented on important economic statistics and data sources and its relevance as reliable sources of information for media workers.

SICCI Media & Communications Officer, Mr Philip Lilomo said the Chamber recognizes the value of building the capacity of the country’s media workers to report well on the business sector.

Especially given the fact the sector affects livelihoods and to understand how the current state of the country’s economy can impact important decisions to be made.

“The need for informed business and economic reporting has taken on increasing importance over the years together with changes to the economy and it will become even more important as Solomon Islands along with the rest of the world continue to face the business and economic impact of the current global pandemic,” he said.

As such, the workshop also had a session that covered the economic implications of COVID-19 for a local audience.

Mr Lilomo noted that now more than ever, people need objective and accurate information and the role played by the media is more crucial than before.

“A responsible media plays a constructive role in promoting unity and fighting the pandemic together in efforts to keep the virus away from our borders. Social media users too should take responsibility ensuring information posted are accurate and objective,” he said.

Journalists attending the workshop were also briefed on key results of two business impact surveys SICCI has conducted so far in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

President of the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI), Ms Georgina Kekea acknowledged SICCI for this capacity building initiative for members of the media.

“SICCI is always supportive of the media, to which MASI is thankful for. Being informed is very important especially at this time of digital age and MASI greatly welcomed the workshop session by SICCI,” she said.

The SICCI Media and Communications Officer, Mr Lilomo said the media industry, especially through MASI and its members play a vital role in the country.

“Being responsible and responsive means not only informing the populace on current affairs but also in provoking much-needed discussions on key issues facing the country.
“As the fourth key element of the state – the media is very powerful and with it comes great responsibility to be ethical and to do the right thing,” he said.

Long-time journalist and a Director of one of the daily newspapers in the country, Mr Priestley Habru was lead facilitator at the workshop.