PM says freedom of expression will continue, Media Practitioner’s Bill on the way
The fundamental right of freedom of expression will continue to enjoy constitutional recognition in Solomon Islands.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare made the assurance during the World Press Freedom Day celebrations yesterday, 3rd April.
Speaking on this year’s theme of Information as a Public Good, Prime Minister Sogavare said, the theme is indeed fitting and relevant for our country.
The Prime Minister adds, it underlines the indisputable importance of verified and reliable information.
‘The theme calls attention to the essential role of free and professional journalists in producing and disseminating information, by tackling misinformation and other harmful content,” he said.
However, he adds, this fundamental right is not absolute, it is a right that must be exercised with great caution and responsibility.
“When it comes to the press this responsibility underlines the indisputable importance of verified and reliable information,anything short of this is an abuse of this fundamental right.”
The Prime Minister told last night’s media gathering, some people are under the mistaken belief that the freedom of expression is an absolute right but as most us know this is not the case.
Media Practitioner’s Bill
The National Government and the Media Association of Solomon Islands have begun discussion on a bill to regulate media practitioners in the country.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare revealed during last night’s Media freedom Day activities, the MASI board met him last week where the Media Practitioners Bill was frankly discussed.
“It was a fruitful discussion and I was informed that work has begun on the Media Practitioner’s Bill to regulate amongst other things the conduct of Media Practitioner’s,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
The Prime Minister underlines, most professions in this country have laws that regulate their conduct and profession and it is high time that the Media has one well.
“I am not privy to the details of the Bill yet but at some stage it would be good to have a look at it, he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare adds, it was agreed in principle that the Bill should be ready by October this year.