in The National on December 5, 2000
emerges from a seminar for first-time stock investors all
IF those who got burnt by the controversial fast
money schemes last year had instead used that money to buy shares in listed
companies, today, they would not be crying over spilt milk.
If they had invested in shares instead of in confidence tricksters and rumours,
they would have effectively owned part of a business that is actively operating
in PNG, save for the future, and contribute to the country's economy.
Best of all, they would be able to see their money back anytime (given some
profit or loss). As well, they would have had some authority to turn to if they
had been cheated.
For three hours, on Tuesday, these thoughts kept
running through my head as I sat in the boardroom of the Port Moresby Stock
Exchange Ltd (Pomsox), learning "how to invest in shares" together
with three other women and 11 men.
Suddenly, I am seeing the business and stocks
pages in the newspapers in a whole new light. They are no longer boring figures
and details with terms and names, far removed from my ordinary life.
I couldn't have spent K50 better - thanks, to the
well-structured and effectively delivered presentations by acting Pomsox General
Manager - Emily George Taule; Pomsox Market Controller - Evangeline Taunao;
Pomsox Administration Manager - Dika Bogana-Kila, Kina Securities Ltd (Kina)
client advisor Brendan Bure and Kina Group General Manager - Syd Yates, who is
also a director of the Pomsox by virtue of Kina being one of the three
shareholder of Pomsox.
I learnt that due to strict rules and regulations
dictated by Acts of Parliament to ensure that investors are protected, stock
brokers contribute to something called a "Fidelity Fund" as a
condition for their membership in the Pomsox. And by law, that Fund must contain
AT LEAST K500,000 - it could be more if the authorities deem fit.
In context, stockbrokers must be members of the
Pomsox - a market place for them to operate as agents of individual or group
investors engaging in the purchase or sale of shares of listed companies.
As such, if any one of them goes bust for
whatever reason, all funds outstanding in relation to the wound-up broker will
be furnished from the Fidelity Fund. There certainly was no such guarantee with
the fast money schemes.
And for all the money those fast money scheme
investors put in, they still had no say in how their money was being used by the
fast money operators or how the scheme was being run or controlled.
By purchasing shares in a listed company through
bona fide, licenced stock brokers, investors become part owners of the company,
giving them the right to be a part of democratic decision-making, sometimes as
far up as board level.
You would get to sit in at the company's annual
general meeting to raise issues of concern, have access to details of the
company's profits and losses, operations, future plans, directors ... and even
have a say in sacking a particular director (if you manage to muster enough
"power" through the number of shares you hold or influence)!
Over the long term, stock holdings yield more
returns than most other forms of investments. When a company you invested in
hits good times, its share value increase. If you had earlier bought the shares
at a lower price, you stand to make a profit by selling some or all of those
In the short term, this is how overnight
millionaires are made ... share prices of good "blue chip" companies
(like privatised utility providers) have been known to double or triple in value
in a short time. Especially if you bought newly "floated" shares.
That's certainly an easy way to make a living, really, if you have the capital
to begin with.
In the long term, investing in shares protects
you against inflation. "Capital growth" in your share holdings will
help to keep you ahead of inflation as shares in a company usually become more
valuable as a company grows and becomes more profitable over time.
Also, when you invest in shares, you are entitled
to dividends at least once a year as decided by the company's board of
Dividends are a share of profits given out to
shareholders according to the number of shares they own. Naturally, the company
must have made profit that year, and the board of directors must have decided to
pay out dividends instead of putting the profits back into expanding the
And as mentioned above, share holdings gives you
the right to have a say in the running of the company at least once a year -
during its annual general meeting. Relate this to voting in, or out, a director
of the company.
A wonderful analogy given by Kina client advisor
Mr Bure: "Each time you vote a government in, and you are not happy with
how they are running the country, you have to wait another four or five years
before you get to vote them out!"
In a most democratic sense, one ordinary share is
worth one vote. The more shares you own, the more weight your vote carries.
If you are still not happy with how things are
going in the company, then sell your shares! Hopefully you make a profit.
Pity, no good thing ever comes for free.
Along with the benefits of investing in shares
come risks. First of all, share prices are constantly fluctuating due to the
mechanics of demand and supply.
The more people want to buy the shares of a
particular company the higher the share price. The opposite then holds true.
Shares in a particular company are desirable if
the company has a good reputation, is making profits, expanding, or has just
found a new source of income (for example, an oil mining company finds a new
source of oil).
The actual workings of the demand and supply of
shares and share prices, along with the purchases and sales transacted are
Realise then that when you place an order with
your broker to buy shares at a price which you are willing to pay at the time,
you are not buying them >from the broker. You are actually telling your
stockbroker that you want to buy shares from investors who currently own them.
Therefore, the transaction can only conclude if someone wishes to sell at that
The Port Moresby Electronic Trading System (PETS)
matches buying and selling orders based on the price offered at a particular
time they were entered.
Thus your order may be filled while you wait at
the phone, or not at all.
The second risk is the risk of a particular
company winding up or going bankrupt. Then the shareholder loses all the money
they spent buying shares of that company.
Fortunately this very rarely happens; because in
order to get listed on the stock exchange, companies must meet very stringent
requirements and tests to ensure that it is a viable business that is safe for
the public to invest in.
This underlies another fundamental principal in
life: Don't put all you eggs in one basket. Spread your investment out between
two or more companies. On a larger scale, it will even safer if you spread your
investments over companies in different industries.
Naturally, with greater risk comes greater
returns ... or greater loss.
All too easily, investors get carried away in the
gamble and end up losing all their hard-earned money. Worse if they borrowed
money to invest in a big way.
Also, once you own shares in a particular
company, don't forget to keep track of "your company's" performance
through the newspapers' business and stocks pages. You should also keep an eye
open for potential investments.
According to Pomsox's Mrs Taule, more awareness
seminars are slated to be held in Port Moresby and in the provincial centres
beginning of next year.
"Response to our seminars and FM100 talkback
shows has been very good. Especially from our talkback programs. Many people
have called up Pomsox to make further queries after learning a thing or two from
our radio programs."
After all, radio is PNG's post powerful medium of
Many potential investors have also been driven to
become actual investors following exposure to Pomsox seminars, says market
controller Ms Taunao.
And stockbrokers Kina and Capital Stockbrokers
Ltd have also received an increased number of queries. All you need is a minimum
of K1,000 to start investing in shares through an account with the stockbrokers.
Those interested may contact Pomsox for its
booklet "Investing in shares".
Better still, purchase a comprehensive set of
seminar notes at the price of K40 ... minus the benefit of stimulating
interaction with the seminar speakers.
Pomsox can be contacted at Level 4, Defens Haus,
Cnr Hunter Street and Champion Parade. Port Moresby (Tel: 3201980/ Fax: 3201981)
or at www.pomsox.com.pg.
Kina Securities Ltd is at level 2, Deloitte
Touche Tower, Douglas Street.
Port Moresby (Tel: 3083825/ Fax: 3083899) or at www.kina.com.pg.
Capital Stockbrokers Ltd is at Level 2, CDC Haus,
Macgregor Street, Port Moresby (Tel: 3214333/ Fax: 3214577).
Freedom - a Papua New Guinean perspective (published in the May issue of
Asian Women Online)
Celebrating media freedom in
Enthralled by her experience working in
PNG, LENA LIEW
tries to suss out the Papua New Guinean psyche on
colleagues the world over mark Media
Freedom Day with criticisms and appeals for more media freedom - from
governments, politics and commercial interests - I feel compelled to present a
slightly different take on the issue. After all, how many of us have had the
privilege to practise journalism in a poor developing country with a wonderfully
I work as a sub-editor in a nationally
distributed English language daily in Papua New Guinea. In the course of my
work, I edit and clear foreign, local, business, sports news and features, lay
out the pages and fix the pictures. As such, I am privileged to have the
opportunity to observe first hand, and be an intimate part of, a lot of what is
presented to the reading public everyday.
Before coming to Papua New Guinea two
years ago, I had worked as a sub-editor in a Malaysian English language national
daily and at Bernama, the Malaysian national news agency. Prior to becoming a
sub-editor, I was a news reporter for six-and-a-half months. I am barely past my
mid-twenties; never knew any other prime minister other than Dr Mahathir
My point: I am relatively young and
inexperienced in the field of journalism. I had been shaped, as a journalist and
as an individual, by the forces of the Mahathir era.
Imagine the culture shock I experienced
coming to a country where the editorial dared to scream out in a headline two
centimetres tall: "Stop lying and resign, Mr Prime Minister!". (Never
mind that the writer of the editorial, an expatriate Australian who has lived
here for more than 35 years, was deported two weeks later before being allowed
to return after a new prime minister replaced THAT prime minister who resigned.)
Often enough, the front-page photo is
perfectly legitimately depicting a topless woman in her traditional finery
welcoming dignitaries in formal suits to a function. (Never mind also that
nudity is condemned outside of traditional grass skirt, shell necklace and
In tourism brochures, Papua New Guinea advertises itself
as the "Land of the Unexpected". More often than not, it is a polite
description of the country’s 4.8 million people who speak over 800 distinctly
different languages besides Tok Pisin (Pidgin) and English. Backward, inherently
fragmented, immensely corrupt, lethargic, simple-minded - these are some of the
less polite words foreigners have used to describe the people who inhabit this
473,000 square kilometre paradise of sorts 160km north of Australia.
As far as media freedom is concerned, PNG
has been an eye-opening "paradise" for me. Not because I exalt in
being an expatriate with a rich collection of horror stories, but because I see
so many fascinating, inspiring stories waiting to be told all around me. More
importantly, the authorities who matter - editors of media outlets especially -
do not fear raising controversy in the name of public interest.
Put this in the context of a largely
uneducated Papua New Guinean public toddling towards "development"
amid an invasion of shapes, colours, textures and concepts that seem to conspire
to make the rich richer and the poor poorer, and you can’t help but see the
great need for raising public awareness in every field.
The figures - more than 80 per cent of the
population live a subsistence lifestyle in the rural areas; literacy here is
72.7% (even less speak, read and write English), life expectancy is 57 years,
and the people to doctor ratio is 12,500:1! See www.asiaweek.com
Incongruously – thanks, or no thanks, to
the Australian and British colonial masters - the PNG media is vociferous and
the reading public responsive. Easily half the news comes from press statements
proactively issued by all and sundry; unlike in Malaysia where getting comments
from people in authority is like asking the person to sell his or her soul.
Pity not enough people read English; pity
too many people are not earning enough to spare the cash for newspapers. More
significantly, not enough local journalists do justice to the wonderful media
freedom they have.
But of course, its only human nature to
take for granted something you always had; something you never had to struggle
The Constitution says so
PNG gained independence from Australia in
Section 46 of the PNG Constitution
provides for "Freedom of Expression and Publication". As stated in
Section 46 (2), this includes:
(a) Freedom to hold opinions, to receive
… (and) communicate ideas and information;
(b) Freedom of the press and other mass
I ask PNG Media Council president Peter
John Aitsi, the general manager of the commercial radio station PNGFM, what the
definition of media freedom in PNG is.
"We haven’t actually looked
specifically at the definition of Media Freedom in PNG, although the Media
Council generally promotes media freedom," he says crisply over the phone.
"Personally, my definition would be
that the media must be free from government influence, free to public input and
that we represent the well-being of the public at large.
"These concepts are reinforced by the
According to Mr Aitsi, the Media
Council’s primary role is to promote the development of the industry by
looking at training and industry standards.
The Council also serves as a collective
body when there is a need to fight overt media control or regulation by the
government or other bodies.
Mr Aitsi tells me that the Media Council
was registered formally only late last year. "Prior to that, it was merely
a regular gathering of media houses to discuss problems with advertising and
The Media Council’s membership comprises
all media outlets in PNG, while associate membership is held by representatives
of advertising agencies, magazines and foreign correspondents reporting for
international news agencies.
Naturally, the Media Council organises
PNG’s celebration of World Media Freedom Day on May 3. This year, a two-day
seminar was held in line with the theme "State of the PNG Child".
Every last Wednesday of the month, the
Media Council organises a "media bash" sponsored in turns by various
business houses. That’s the closest PNG journalists come to the extravagant
media bashes hosted by cash-rich PR-savvy corporations in Malaysia.
Once in a while, the Media Council
disseminates to its members calls for nominees for journalism awards,
fellowships, scholarships or workshops/seminars. Mostly, these come through its
ties to the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA). Last year it coordinated
the PNG leg of a US-based Knight Fellow’s tour of Pacific Islands media
I make the observation that the Council
represents more the interests of media outlet owners than of the profession of
"The ‘teeth’ of the Media Council
is the unified support it has through its membership, and the public support
that it can call on – i.e. the ability to generate public debate and directed
outcry," Mr Aitsi says in a follow-up e-mail.
"A Code of Ethics is one of two
projects we are currently working on. It doesn’t really exist yet but we hope
to have it in place before the end of the year," he adds.
"We are also working towards the
establishment of a Media Complaints Tribunal where we will provide an
independent arbitrator to deal with complaints (of an ethical nature)."
The week of World Media Freedom Day, the
PNG Media Council got the opportunity to show its teeth when the PNG Minister of
Communications abruptly sacked the managing director of the government
controlled National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).
The sacking came under the
"recommendation" of the Minister of Privatisation, and was widely
believed to have been due to the NBC’s coverage during the recent standoff
between a group of mutinous Defence Force officers and the Prime Minister.
The soldiers had seized a significant
cache of high-powered weapons from their main armoury and demanded that the
Government scrap plans to halve the barely operational 4,000-strong Defence
Force. The recommendation had come from a Commonwealth team of consultants which
the Government had invited to come and advise it on reforms for the Defence
In the absence of a definitive explanation
from the ministers involved (despite their statements saying the usual rubbish),
the local media speculated that the NBC managing director was being punished for
refusing to divulge his reporters’ sources, and for initially misreporting
that the Prime Minister was going to turn up at the barracks to receive a
petition from the soldiers.
In the same instance, the media disclosed
letters from the Prime Minister’s Office asking the Catholic Church, the
controlling shareholder of the English language weekly here, to sack the
managing editor, publisher and a reporter over the weekly’s coverage of the
Government’s funds crunch after international financial institutions
deliberately delayed delivery of sorely needed aid funds.
The whole week, the media played up the
issue of the government interference on the front pages with sound condemnation
from various quarters including the Ombudsman Commission and Transparency
International (PNG). Even the National Doctors Association criticised the
Communications Minister’s choice of a government medical officer as the new
NBC managing director!!
It was only the third time since PNG’s
Independence that media freedom has been overtly challenged. The first two
times, I was told, were Parliamentary submissions by certain "aggrieved
MPs" which could have resulted in the licensing of media outlets and
journalists. Till today, media outlets and journalists remain unlicenced.
It was before this controversy broke that
I interviewed Mr Aitsi for this AWO article. In response to the apparent
government interference, he was quoted as saying that "media organisations
will support one another in seeking a review of the decision if it was not
performance based, if it was politically motivated or if it was the result of
anger over (the NBC’s) coverage)".
As I conclude this lengthy essay at the
end of Media Freedom Week, the outcome of this challenge to the freedom of
PNG’s media remains to be seen. I am nevertheless certain that Papua New
Guineans will successfully uphold the NOTION of media freedom even if they take
it for granted in everyday terms.
Freedom - a Papua New Guinean perspective (published in the May issue of
Asian Women Online)
LENA LIEW tries her
hand at investigative journalism in Papua New Guinea and experiences media
freedom like never before.
My eight to 10-hour workdays in a
nationally distributed English language daily leaves me little time and energy
outside of balancing my sanity with housework and my significant other to pursue
writing for publication.
With all due respect to the
section editors I work with, every day I find myself having to rewrite and dress
up copy far beyond what a sub-editor should be doing. That’s not counting the
times I have had to go running looking for the original press release or source
for material to fill my pages. Without fail I find myself grumbling about the
questions that remain unanswered, or worse, questions that are created by inept
All too often, I wonder out loud:
"What is it that the universities here are not teaching in their journalism
courses? What is it that these journalism degree holders are not applying in
practical terms what they DID learn from university?"
What value for the ordinary
person’s precious 80 toea (U$0.27), when the front page headline of the other
daily screams out "Why I became a sex worker" … only to present not
a single mention of condoms and AIDS?
Imagine how I cringed when I was
told that the standard of journalism here was doubly worse before my paper
appeared seven years ago to challenge the dominance of THAT other paper.
Over the course of one year, that
Little Voice in my heart grew from a murmur to a loud grumble. I began to lose
sleep, as I kept wishing I could afford to quit sub-editing and become a
Something inside me snapped one
week before Chinese New Year at the end of January this year. As I celebrated my
first CNY without my family, I voluntarily embarked on an
"investigation" of what I thought was a cleverly disguised
Internet-based pyramid scheme.
It was not the first time PNG was
being hit by get-rich-quick schemes, but it was the first time that an
Internet-based scheme was being so aggressively marketed in this country of only
4.2 Internet users per 10,000 people.
In this case, the Papua New
Guinean promoter of the US-based scheme called Skybiz 2000 had been advertising
his activities in my paper for four months before I got moving on it. I knew I
was treading on dangerous ground since various reports indicated that a US$1
million defamation lawsuit had filed by the Skybiz headquarters in the United
States against the Canadian Mounted Police. That kind of money could bankrupt my
Another consideration: The
"backer" of the Papua New Guinean Skybiz promoter, a white Australian
who operated a Christian bookshop here, was one of my paper’s most prominent
advertisers. That, if not other reasons, made him good buddies with the
advertising manager – as evidenced by the frequent back-slapping visits and
Imagine my dismay when I found
out after I submitted my 3,600 word special report to the acting
editor-in-chief, that the said advertising manager was going to be the
editor-in-chief in a few days time. All those sleepless nights and countless
hours of research, phone calls, interviews and strain on my personal life was
going to be in vain if he refused to publish my report!
In the context of the poor law
and order situation here in Papua New Guinea, the personal risks I had
undertaken were significant; more so when you consider the general resentment
against Oriental expatriates here. Out on the streets, I stick out like a sore
thumb not only for being Oriental, but also for being the extremely rare case of
an expatriate woman driving or walking around alone. Consider also many Papua
New Guineans are inherently violent, such that a straightforward robbery or
drunken brawl or wife-beating often results in death.
There was as such a need for me
to not reveal myself physically, even though I sound obviously expatriate over
the phone without a Papua New Guinean accent. I wouldn’t have had to face
these constraints if I had been a Papua New Guinean journalist.
Save for the executive director
of the Consumer Affairs Council who insisted on meeting me face-to-face, I
managed to obtain comments and documents from various top government and private
sector authorities as well as Skybiz members via phone, e-mail and fax. People
were helpful and eager to talk … I even had someone offer to give me a video
of the Skybiz presentation. Most were willing to be named; if not, they readily
directed me to higher-ups who could be named and quoted.
For the record, I identified
myself as a "journalist from" my paper. Only later I find out that PNG
laws prohibit non-citizens from being "employed as a journalist" –
"sub-editors" being defined as "editors" and NOT
Seeing the light of day
The very day his appointment as
editor-in-chief was announced at a staff meeting, Yehiura Hriehwazi approached
me to ask about my Skybiz story. He told me his Skybiz contacts here told him
that I had interviewed them. Apprehensively, I printed out another copy of my
report for him and psyched myself up for rejection. The next day he handed to me
several e-mails he had received from his local Skybiz contacts – e-mails
supposedly exonerating Skybiz from accusations saying that it was an illegal
Two days later, on his second day
as editor-in-chief, Mr Hriehwazi comes up to me and says: "Very good story,
well done. We’ll run it in three parts starting this Friday, in our
"Focus" section. Blurb it (to promote the article) in Thursday’s
paper." I was elated! The Friday paper sells the most because we don’t
publish on Saturdays and Sundays.
The day my paper published a
blurb promoting my special report, I started work as a sub-editor (at 4pm)
having received two threatening phone calls from local "Skybiz
members" and several frantic messages for me to call or fax the local
Skybiz people. On Friday, I stayed away from the office (it was my off day
anyway!), and prepared to take the next flight out of PNG if necessary.
Two weeks later, the Skybiz
promoters bought full-page ads over three days in all three English language
news publications (one a weekly) slamming my paper and I by name, without
threatening to sue. My editor-in-chief had exercised his right to edit the
advertisement and removed my name and personal attacks contained in the
advertisement. The other two papers published nearly every word of the original
I declined to sue for defamation
because I didn’t think it was worth the hassle. After all, my contract ends
next March. On his part, Mr Hriehwazi lodged a strongly-worded complaint with
the PNG Media Council. I was told that this was the first time such drastic
action had been taken out against a PNG newspaper and its journalist.
I am certain I would never have
had this experience in Malaysia. Never mind having to deny to total strangers
that I am that Lena Liew who wrote those articles.
For the purpose of this AWO
article, I interviewed Mr Hriehwazi to try to suss out a Papua New Guinean
editor-in-chief’s psyche in relation to media freedom.
He chuckles when I tell him how
much his support for my story had meant to me, considering his advertising ties.
I tell him that where I come from, editors rarely back their journalists on
"It was a first-time
experience for me as well.
"And yes, it was a difficult
decision for me, especially since I had just come from being the advertising
manager. It was a decision between revenue and public interest – short term
gain for the paper versus long term gain for the people.
"For me, educating the
people won out because I felt it was more important to play our role in creating
a more informed Papua New Guinean public," Mr Hriehwazi says.
"As Editor-in-chief, my
roles and responsibilities are now broader. I need to be more concerned with the
paper’s impact on public awareness and its contribution to the nation at
large," he adds.
Mr Hriehwazi goes on to recount
his personal experience with the ordinary people and churches who were scammed
by the various Ponzi (fast money) schemes which hit PNG simultaneously two years
As such, he says: "I have a
personal resolve against corruption, and deception of the people."
When I point out to him that the
local Skybiz promoter had since refused to pay for the edited full-page
advertisements (worth a total of over K5,000 or U$1,700), Mr Hriehwazi said:
"I told the advertising manager ‘Forget it, we can make money
"I don’t regret it because
we did the right thing. I know I have done the right thing when I am at peace
with myself when I go home at night; and I look forward to coming to work again
the next morning," he says.
This is the advertising manager
who broke the record and doubled my paper’s ad revenue in one year?! I
politely refrain from asking him what if, in time, HIS bosses come chasing after
him for waving off revenue like that.
I go on to ask Mr Hriehwazi to
elaborate on an editor-in-chief’s right to edit advertisements - i.e. the
extent of editorial freedom from commercial interests. This is especially
significant in Papua New Guinea because every week, we have numerous advertisers
taking out full-page statements or advertorials for some reason or other.
Advertising rates here are relatively low, you see. And ad sales people
sometimes give as much as 50 per cent discount.
According to Mr Hriehwazi, the
conflict between the advertising and editorial departments has long existed,
even in the other publications.
"Advertising people are not
familiar with journalistic ethics. Their concern is to make the sale," he
Only since he came on as
advertising manager of my paper was there effort to foster closer consultation
between the advertising and the then editor-in-chief.
"In a way, I inherited that
close co-operation," he says with a grin.
I ask Mr Hriehwazi if he has had
personal experience having to fight for media freedom.
After searching through his
memory banks, he replies: "I can’t think of any!
"If at all, I was referred
to face questioning by the Parliamentary Privileges Committee when I was a
political reporter. All three times I got off the hook. I played my taped
recordings and presented the relevant documents, and managed proved that I had
Before joining my paper as
advertising manager in September 1999, Mr Hriehwazi ran his own news agency.
"I produced lots of good
stories which were regularly used; I was very happy. But I was not making enough
to put bread on the table ... The papers were not paying,’ he recounts.
Mr Hriehwazi had begun his career
as a rookie reporter with the country’s only newspaper at the time. In those
days, he says, the highest journalism qualification one could obtain in PNG was
a Diploma in Journalism from the University of PNG.
He left reporting nine years
later - as chief political reporter - and went to work as press secretary to the
Office of the Opposition Leader.
"I was there for less than a
year, and I served under three different Opposition Leaders!
"I left because I got tired
covering up for politicians."
His next job was as public
relations manager to the Chamber of Mining and Petroleum, an industry
organisation. His job was thus to organise and conduct negotiations with the PNG
government and public awareness seminars. Not surprisingly, when his three-year
contract there ended, he joined Ok Tedi Mining Limited, operators of the then
robustly world standard Ok Tedi copper and gold mine. It was after this contract
that he established his own news agency.
Taken for granted
Mr Hriehwazi agrees that Papua
New Guinean journalists take for granted the media freedom they enjoy.
"The media freedom that we
are so lucky to have is no excuse for sloppy reporting.
"Media freedom comes with
responsibility. We still cannot overstep the boundaries and bring disrepute to
any institution or person without facts and figures.
"We ourselves have to be
careful and regulate ourselves so that we do not provoke anti-media
sentiments," Mr Hriehwazi says.
I jump at that opportunity to
pose a nagging question: The media should "regulate" itself but not
"censor" itself. Where is that thin line drawn?
Mr Hriehwazi mulls over my
question for a while.
"As long as we do it right
by going back to journalism basics to present a balance story based on facts ...
As long as we don’t abuse the freedom of expression that we have ... that’s
"As long as we can operate
without fear or favour ... as long as there is no legislation to licence or
restrict us ... that’s how there will be no need for
‘self-censorship’," he concludes.
Now, how many of us have had the
privilege to practise journalism in a poor developing country with a wonderfully
Related article: Celebrating