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Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Best Media website by far!

Hello everyone,

Another week another story to tell! As the polling for the 2012 National General Elections come to an end and counting commences, we wish and pray for the best still! Anyway I'm not here to talk about the Elections as I'm not really into the political game so I'll leave it there.

So what are we discussing today, well I want to discuss the websites of all media organizations in the country and how I as a blogger find using these sites!

I can tell you all right now that the new EMTV website is the best I've seen by far from any of the media websites in PNG. Congratulations to the team who developed the website! It is so easy to use and the wow factor is the amount of information one can obtain from the website. It is modern with links not only to PNG sites and EMTV programs but Internationally too.

In earlier posts I've discussed this and why media organizations in the country should have an updated website and/or create a facebook account which can be updated daily or regularly. I was in Kiunga and Tabubil recently and while on the Mighty Fly River, the only access to the rest of the world was my mobile phone. And with my mobile phone, I was kept up beat with the latest political games played in Port Moresby. I was able to access the NBC facebook page and the National newspaper's sites.

That was very exceptional by these two media outlets and now that EMTV has come on board with a new look website, I can't wait to really experience using it when you really need too when your in the middle of nowhere. And to watch the streaming of the news on your mobile phone too, that is one thing to look forward too.

Great work on a great website and as an observer and critic, I wish the EMTV team the best in the coming years as we all trive to be in the media race to reach and inform as many people as posible in a professional manner. I encourage the EMTV news team to continue to push for the best as now their tiring efforts of gathering news will be published and streamed online to PNG and the rest of the world.

I am a big advocate for standard in the media industry and ways we as a fraternity can move forward into the future. I am overwhelmed just browsing through the EMTV website and looking forward to the time when all media organizations will have updated websites.

EMTV has surely set the standard with its latest website update and I would like to see the National Newspaper follow suite with a much fresher look to the website and also existing websites like the Post Courier, NBC and PNGFM all upgraded to a modern much fresher looks with easy to accees and user friendly sites.

Congratulations to EMTV again and keep up the good work!

Cheers,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Voice Training and Talent Shows in PNG

Oh yeah, agree with me that this is a very interesting topic to discuss with you and the rest of the world too! Voice training and Talent Shows in PNG, is it okay to talk and discuss this? Will it bring some change to how things are done? Will PNG lift its game on this issues? Well it's your choice, I'll be the catalyst more or less to get you started in discussing this two things.

Now when we talk about Voice training, for me it really covers two areas, one would be for live or recorded productions on Television, Radio or other electronic medium and the actual voice training for talent shows. So that's how I'm going to break it up for you! On the part of the Talent shows in PNG, well that will run itself!

So lets get started! And before I do I want to make special mention to people who have flooded me with emails and suggestions and ideas to critic or critique on this matter which I was reluctant to but have decided to now!

VOICE TRAINING - ELECTRONIC MEDIA

Ah my favorite thing when I was in the mainstream media. I wanted to sound good and perfect and made sure people understood me and that they realise that I'm a true professional in what I do. Voice training in radio and TV for journalist and presenters is a vital part of them being who they are. Usually voice training is done during the University days. I remember I went to a number of these courses in Uni and boy I did enjoy them. Tricky but you will learn a lot especially the different ways of using your voice when reading the news, presenting the news and presenting a radio or TV program.

I have commented a lot about this on my Facebook account (Main Man Nelo) and very little response has come from the media organizations questioned. I'll give you all an example which you will all agree with! We start off with the National Broadcasting Corporation's news.

NBC is the leading electronic news agency in the country and they pride themselves in that and we will all agree that we listen to their news. Certain readers need practice in their news reading and presentation. (I was a former news reader and presenter at NBC and this is all opinion based with not particular slur to any of the officers of the NBC or EMTV!). Several journalists need voice training and they should get it. It would make wonders for NBC if every journalist could read and present without a flaw.

EMTV has some problems too in the news reading area (not presentation). A particular journalist just puts me off every time she reads. I don't understand some of her words and how the story line was constructed.

My question here is! Does the news directors and chief of staff notice these issues and try to correct them? Have they realized that certain officers need pronunciation classes or voice training? Are there plans to give these officers or all their journalists and presenters pronunciation and voice training?

I'm saying this because just recently, EMTV has launched a live streaming and mobile phone based access to its coverage. So will they allow a a lot of mis-pronunciation to go on air locally, nationally and internationally? NBC also is heading that way so lets be frank here, give your journalists and presenters the much needed pronunciation and voice training.

VOICE TRAINING FOR TALENT SHOWS

This is very interesting and firstly I must say The VOICE on Channel Nine and EMTV is the best talent show I've ever seen apart from the Idols. Anyway the voice is the most important assert for one to become a successful singer and I totally agree that our local talent shows on singing must strictly screen the contestants before they go on to be in their show.

We have lacked that and my it is a shame! I see a lot of bias-ness when contestants are selected for talent shows. Lets look at this for example! Honley Issac was kicked out of the Digicel Stars season one in the Semi-finals because the judges thought the song choice was not the right one for him. Well fast forward and Honley Issac and his band JOKEMA are the hottest band in PNG and everyone around PNG loves Honely's voice! So how come he got kicked out? The winner that year was Greg Aaron and boy did he have the voice of a rock star. I love Greg's songs which I bought off iTunes and reckon Honley and Greg should have fought it out for the major prize.

I seriously think a stricter criteria should be set for Digicel Stars so we see more good voices and talent stay longer in the contest rather then a good looking chic or a handsome hunk winning the judges vote because they dressed well.

PNG TALENT SHOWS

PNG has jumped on the band wagon of various talent shows with PNG's Got Talent, Ice Discovered, Digicel Starts and so fort. I don't know about its success but I do know that we're really poor in this category - in finding real talent I mean.

Lets take PNG's Got Talent and compare it with Australia's Got Talent! BIG difference!!! How and why well simple, in PNG's version we see that 90% of the contestants are...yeah you guessed it...Break dancers!!! Do we not have other talents, like ummm rubber skinned people or drinking 12 cans of beer or soft drink in 2 mins etc...how come we only have talent in break dancing?

Now I know you all have watched THE VOICE screened on EMTV and Channel Nine! Well if you are an intending contestant to this year's Digicel Stars, have you asked yourself these questions!

Am I good enough? Do I have the Voice to win? Can I lift the standard of this competition to the next level? there are a lot of questions to ask yourself that we have to consider. Why can't a judge on Digicel Stars be like Randy Jackson of American Idol and be straight forward. Why can't they say straight - No you can't sing go back to your day job! impossible? Nah possible the judges are too soft and scared! Put me on and I will show you how to be a real judge!!!

Anyway I hope you enjoyed reading and once again please feel free to comment and reminder that all good comments will be published if it is an explicit comment or a personal attack it won't be entertained!

Cheers!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Typos & mispronounced words

Morning news on radio sounds good to any listener or audience who does not really care about the words used as long as he or she understands what the piece is all about. Flipping through the newspaper and I spot typos everywhere and I question myself, "Is this word spelt correctly?". I hear words being mispronounced everyday on radio and TV too. It counts when its the news for me rather than a chit-chat by the announcer on radio.

I realized this when I finished school and had my training, that the Journalism schools in PNG have courses to suit every mainstream job excluding announcing of course. And one thing or course that was missing was Voice Training. We had the shorthand course for journos to get every bit of information down just by writing short hand which works well for any journalist in radio, TV or print. But voice training was lacking in both UPNG and DWU.

Now typos are very easy to solve, you just type the right or correct word next time you use it. For News presentation on radio or TV it is quite hard for various reasons to grasp the way a word is pronounced that is different in real life English speaking. I found that very difficult in my days in radio and TV and all I can say is practice makes perfect if there is no voice training given to you.

Believe me when I say this, you will pick up a typo in this article even though I'm trying my best to keep it clean. We all know what KISS means in the journalism world - Keep It Short & Simple, Keep It Short & Sweet etc.... The reason for me to bring this up is because, when we start using very big words we tend to twist the meaning or angle of the story. And when big words are used often they are mispronounced or misunderstood by the audience.

Here are some of the most common words used in Print or Electronic media that is either spelt incorrectly or mispronounced:

accept - except, recipe - receipt, lay - lie, advice - advise, adverse - averse, aisle - isle, appraise - apprise, alter - altar , ascent - assent, censure - censor, cue - queue...etc!

These and many others are always spelt incorrectly and mispronounced. It would be nice to have regular refresher courses to go through these sorts of simple errors that we as journalists and broadcasters do without realising.

In radio and TV, I hear this a lot and I don't know any other way but voice training to solve mispronunciation of words on radio and TV. I don't know if it the way we Papua New Guineans pronounce or pure neglect. These are some of the words commonly mispronounced:

Says, schedule, national, transparency, corporation, co-operation, effect, affect, liquefied, has, as and many more.

Below are just some ways in which I think could assist you in making sure you don't get anymore typos in your stories. Editors will go, what is he trying to prove but let me tell you editors you need some refresher courses too because you are the final eye for detail in every piece that goes to the printer or airwaves. For the new journo in the job, a good guide to making your writing mistake limited and better eye for detail.

1. Go line by line through the text. Use a physical aid, such as an index card or sheet of paper, to block out all of the text except for a single line. Then review each line, one after one in order, without distraction.

2. After you've read the text forwards, re-read it backwards. For most professional proofreaders, this is their dirty secret. When they reach the end of a piece that they've proofed forwards, they keep their index cards on the page and do the same process in reverse.
3. Highlight and verify all factual sources—no exceptions! As you're reading through the text forward and backwards, you should be indicating and verifying page content that can be cross-checked from other (reputable) sources.

4. After you've finished your hard proof, conduct a light re-proof all fixed changes to make sure new errors didn't slip in. There are inevitably one or two small typos or new errors that find their way into layouts after a heavy proofreading pass. Also, re-flow mistakes or re-ragging can occur that should be checked.

6. At the final proof stage, you should re-read all content forwards and backwards. No, please not again! Sorry, but this is the one area where you can't afford to see a new mistake introduced—and even the best printers accidentally introduce errors at pre-press.

If you have any suggestions on how to improve typos or mispronouncing of words please contribute. This will only help the media industry to set a standard that is highly respected in the country and overseas. Let's contribute and erase simple mistakes that can be corrected but are ignored!

Cheers,

Nelson P THOM

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

PNG Government, Media Leaders Must Act on Police Grenade Threat

BY PACIFIC FREEDOM FORUM

PFF, Rarotonga, COOK ISLANDS -- The Pacific Freedom Forum condemns the grenade threat against a Papua New Guinea journalist by Police force officers late last week, and is calling on the O'Neill government and the PNG Media Council to publicly support media freedom.

Post Courier Business Editor Patrick Talu,was shown a hand grenade by a policeman who was armed with an M16 rifle, and ordered to leave the Port Moresby's Unagi Oval or be blown up. He was covering landowner/official skirmishes over a controversial gas pipeline project.

 "The Pacific Freedom Forum condemns this latest threat and calls for decisive action from the highest levels of authority to stamp out this blatant and dangerous disregard of the rule of law,"says PFF chair Titi Gabi.

"It is frankly alarming that the PNG political leadership has yet to publicly and immediately discipline those involved in an escalating trend of threats to journalists. PNG's constitution protects freedom of information and journalists such as Talu are trying to keep the country informed at a time in history when it's important for journalists to be out in the field and witnessing to the nation what's happening."

"We applaud comments by the Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga that such behaviour is unacceptable and urge both the Police and the PNG Media Council leadership to bring the instigators of these threats to justice. Decisive action is urgently needed to ensure journalists can feel safe as they go about with the daily work of reporting."

The PFF call comes on the heels of an earlier statement by the regional media monitoring network following a statement from the office of the O'Neill leadership that a new commission to monitor and 'deal with' anyone accused of making 'subversive' comments, even via mobile phone calls, texting and social networks.

"The hard line image of a 'big-brother' state is evolving into a dangerous mindset of impunity amongst law enforcers when it comes to threatening the media. This is unacceptable and illegal, and must be stopped in its tracks," says PFF co chair Monica Miller from American Samoa.

She noted with concern that the grenade threat against Talu "is only the tip of the iceberg. Already colleagues, particularly women journalists, are being harassed but are unwilling to come forward. This acceptance of abuse and threats against journalists is not an acceptable part of news practice, and we must make the most of our networks to stand up to this criminal bullying."

"We stand in solidarity with our PNG colleagues at this uncertain time, call on the O'Neill leadership to publicly condemn threats from law enforcers against journalists and all PNG citizens, and urge the Police Superintendant Domnic Kakas, himself a former journalist, to do his utmost to help his team repair public confidence damaged by this behaviour."-

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Media Freedom and Journalists' security at risk

It is very sad to read, hear and watch news items of the very people who put the News together being harassed, threatened and warned not to do what we are constitutionally obliged to do for the 7 million people around the country and that is to simply inform them of the events both good and bad happening around the country.

The number of journalist being threatened by Police, Military, MP's and the public has increased drastically that young journalist today are afraid to carry out their jobs with enthusiasm and with dignity. I find it very unlawful, insane and very unsafe for journalists today to even think about covering stories that might have a big risk factor of being harassed or threatened tagged to it, but we do it for the sake of the people, we do it because it is our responsibility and we do it because we love it.

But last night's story on EMTV News about the Post Courier employee (named) is very disturbing as he revealed what the "Police" said to him. First trying to get a journalist's biggest weapon - his camera - then told him "we will use this hand grenade to blow you up". I mean this is threat at its worse and I applaud the lad to come out public and use the media to report this unlawful behavior by the very people who are supposed to uphold the law, the Police.

Right now as I write this, I am very careful not to use words that will be intimidating to the police or any other person for that matter who will be threatened by what I write. And I hate it but I honestly have not felt safer to write and reveal things before then now. Who knows I might be the next one being arrested, assaulted, harassed and jailed for doing this piece. The way I feel is the way our young fresh from University students with little or no experience at all are feeling. They are scared to their teeth and afraid they might be the next one to be threatened.
I have been threatened before by police for holding a camera and taking photographs of them chasing and beating up by standers and vendors before a game of rugby league in Lae, Morobe Province. I was later man handled into the club house and told "Take photos of the game not at us you f***ing C*** you want us to shoot you". That was really scary and guess what I did, I was so afraid that I put the camera back in its bag, took of my media pass, turned my shirt inside out and went up to the stands to watch the game.

We all know and see that the Freedom of the Media and that of journalists' is being threatened. But what are we doing to address this gigantic issue. What have we planned and how do we solved this problem? Who is supposed to take the lead in fighting for Media Freedom and Journalists' rights to write? Do we blame the Media Council or each news organisation or each journalist? Is it time we all stop our ignorance and start a fight on Media Freedom.

We don't want students from UPNG and DWU not sign up for Journalism or come out from school and not be in the mainstream. We need these regular flow of students in and out of our organizations because among them there are one or two that are very good writers. There are one or two that can ask the tough questions and get away with it.

So lets take time to think about the safety of our Journalists' when they are out on duty and the risks they are in to get the story. Lets think and act on ways in which we can improve the safety of journalists. Its time we consider options, as these are very subtle times where Media Freedom and the rights of Journalists will be tested and we don't want to see a life lost in the line of duty.


Cheers, 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WikiLeaks, Stratfor and Papua New Guinea's Corrupt Politics

Written by Philip Dorling
Tuesday, 06 March 2012

Asia Sentinel.COM

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Sir Michael Somare: Stratfor says he's dodgy

Leaked emails detail the depth of sleaze in the government in Port Moresby
When Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, was unceremoniously removed from office last August, the private US intelligence company Stratfor was desperate for inside information to pass to its clients, especially international companies with interests in PNG’s burgeoning resources sector.

Stratfor had one well connected operative who could provide insight on PNG politics, a Brisbane based consultant closely engaged in business in Port Moresby. “Source CN65” was quickly tasked and his subsequent reports, released by WikiLeaks, provide a direct insight into the chaotic and often corrupt PNG political scene.

CN65 didn’t mince words about PNG’s new Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill. In an email to his Stratfor “source handler,” CN65 suggested the new prime minister had a keen sense of personal financial interest.

“Quite corrupt. I know him. … O'Neill is not any more pro-Western than anyone else up there. As long as he makes money for himself (he has significant business investments in mobile phones, among other things), he couldn't really care less.”

Asked what the new Prime Minister would want from Australia, CN65 gave a succinct reply: “He'll be interested in just one thing - money. He will be wanting increased aid from Australia, and untied aid, i.e. direct budgetary support as opposed to aid tied to particular projects and administered by Australia.”

PNG is Australia's largest recipient of foreign aid and with more than A$480 million allocated in 2011-12.

Stratfor’s Source CN65 was revealed by WikiLeaks last week to be the former Australian Senator, Bill O’Chee. A Queensland National Party Senator from 1990 to 1999, O’Chee was the first ethnic-Chinese Australian to serve in the Australian Parliament and was also the youngest person to serve as a senator. He remains active in the Liberal National Party in Queensland.

Last week WikiLeaks began the release of more than 5 million leaked Stratfor emails, which it said show ''how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients.''

According to its website, Stratfor, ''uses a unique, intelligence-based approach to gathering information via rigorous open-source monitoring and a global network of human sources''.

Now a partner in the Brisbane based Himalaya Consulting, O’Chee has a Stratfor “A” rating for “source reliability.” Drawing on a wide range of personal political and business contacts in Port Moresby, his reporting was regarded as “unique insight” into the labyrinth of PNG politics.

After spending a day and a half with “my PNG chums, who were down for the Oxford [University] dinner at the Sydney Opera House,” O’Chee was able to provide Stratfor with an inside account of the collapse of the Somare administration, specifically the personal falling out between acting prime minister Sam Abal and foreign minister Don Poyle, both Enga, a region in the PNG Highlands, that “ripped apart the government” while Sir Michael was slowly recovering from heart surgery in a Singapore hospital.

“Everyone in the government got fed up with this, and it led to huge dissatisfaction. On top of that, Abal moved to shift Peter O'Neil from the Treasury portfolio. That was the [catalyst] for action.”

Significantly O’Chee also referred to “a group of about four or five from the political class, led by one of our business associates (won't say who) helped put the numbers together for a change of government.” However in subsequent reports, O’Chee directly identified Prime Minister O’Neil’s most important backer as former Defense Minister and PNG National Rugby League chief, Highlands businessman Ben Sabumei.

“Uncle Ben is advising O'Neill. … It is wrong though that business put O'Neill in place: it was Uncle Ben and his Highlands circle,” O’Chee wrote.

Referring to the maneuvering that preceded Somare’s downfall, O’Chee simply observed “corruption will win the day.”

O’Chee also had contacts with the Somare camp, leading him to comment that a return to power by Sir Michael would take PNG back to “a cesspit of corruption, incompetence and mediocrity. Need I regale you with the details of my meeting last year with Somare's housing minister who was stoned on betel nut?”

Reporting on PNG’s international relationships, O’Chee expressed the view that domestic political turmoil was unlikely to have much effect. Asked about PNG’s growing ties with China, he observed that “the links between PNG and China won't be changed by who is in power, as China already has a substantial foot in the resources sector - Ramu NiCo and Marengo Mining, for example, as well as sniffing around PNG LNG.”

“The main factor limiting China's ability to reach into the country is the inability of the PNG politicians to be efficient in receiving aid offers. For example, most of a US$200m loan facility remains undrawn because they can't work out how to utilize it. The thing about Melanesia is that politicians are not pro-active, and certainly not policy active. They are instead led by people from outside. The factors that determine future direction are: first and foremost, how Australia throws aid around; and what other countries put on offer.”

More broadly O’Chee concluded: “The real challenge for PNG is that it is too corrupt to develop efficiently. … The standard of the political class is clearly lower than it was 15 years ago. The old guys got corrupt and lazy, and outdated. The newer guys have been obsessed with personal wealth, and lack the respect for the offices they hold, which the previous generation had. This, at least, was the view presented to me privately … by one of most senior diplomats.”

Leaked US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks last year described PNG is being trapped in ''Ponzi politics'' and quoted Australian diplomats as referring to the PNG government as a “dysfunctional blob.”

In a November 2008 briefing, the US embassy in Port Moresby noted that resource revenues and Australian aid have served ''more to enrich the political elite than to provide social services or infrastructure. There are no large-scale local businessmen, but numerous politicians are relatively well off.''

O’Chee’s confidential reporting most recently informed Stratfor’s analysis of the unsuccessful pro-Somare PNG military mutiny in January, with the intelligence company describing prime minister O’Neill as “staunchly pro-business” and highlighting strategic investments by ExxonMobil, Santos and Oil Search in PNG’s growing LNG production and export sector.

Contacted about his work with Stratfor, O’Chee declined to comment on what he described as “private business.” He said he had no ties to any government and his business activities ''didn't require advertising.'' He said he had no contractual relationship with Stratfor and was not on the company's payroll, but declined to respond when asked about whether he received any payment for his reporting or analysis.

(Philip Dorling is a contributing writer for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age (Melbourne). He is a former Australian diplomat.)

Media slam government’s ‘subversive’ policy

Source: The National, Wednesday 07th March 2012
TWO media organisations have condemned the government’s plan to reprimand those who spread “malicious and misleading” information.

The government’s plan was contained in a statement from Ben Micah, the chief of staff at the Prime Minister’s office.

It stated that any person found using their mobile phone, email or Facebook to spread information considered “malicious and misleading” will be considered to have committed a serious crime and will be “dealt with”.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Pacific Freedom Forum are concerned about the government’s announcement of a new “monitoring” committee, tasked with identifying those expressing views it considers “subversive”.

Micah emailed the statement on Feb 22, giving details of the new committee to local journalists.

It was also posted on a PNG media page on social networking website Facebook.
The two organisations said the statement raised concerns for free speech and individual privacy rights, as it appeared to criminalise the personal use of phones, email and social networking websites without a clear legal mandate.
They said the statement also threatened unspecified punishment for those found to be using personal communications technology in a manner deemed “illegal and detrimental”.
“Freedom of speech is a key requirement of good governance,” the IFJ Asia-Pacific Office said.
“Policies and laws which attempt to censor or punish those expressing themselves online, or via other communications technologies, violate this core principle of democracy.
“The IFJ believes that PNG’s existing laws are sufficient to allow authorities to investigate legitimate acts of subversion, and urges the government of PNG to reconsider any plans it may have for the monitoring and criminalisation of personal communications.
“The press and public should be able to express themselves freely without fear of intimidation or criminal prosecution”.
Opposition leader Dame Carol Kidu had raised the same concern last week, urging the government to clarify what it meant by “dealt with”.