Building Capacity for the Communication Arts Department for High Quality Journalism Training

Year when project approved: 
2009
Approved budget: 
US$33 000.00

The mass media in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are mainly servicing the urban minority group, while the bulk of the population, which makes up 85% that lives in the rural sector, is largely ignored of any product of the media. Many media graduates opt for employment in towns and major industries where the conditions are better. There is a felt need to bridge this gap so that information reaches the rural areas. The existing media organisations in PNG have many limitations on their news coverage and are often challenged by lack of adequate resources, political interference, monopoly of ownership and the geographical conditions of PNG that restricts accessibility. There is also a lack of a national policy to guide and balance the media environment. The mass media in PNG include two daily newspapers, one national radio network, two commercial radio networks, several community radio stations (one funded by IPDC) and three Christian radio stations that are run by churches for their ministry work. There is one commercial TV station and NBC will soon launch its National TV station. Journalists are trained at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) and Divine Word University (DWU) only. Furthermore, the role of communication in development is yet to be fully realized at the state level in PNG. The attention and focus of Governments and development institutions will need to be drawn towards accepting the reality of a networked world that will shape politics and the civil society in ways that are only just starting to emerge. Key state actors would need to adapt to citizens' expectations of transparency and accountability by establishing and realising legal rights to freedom of speech and access to information. In view of both the present and the immerging situations, there is a greater need to prepare well-rounded students as media professionals with appropriate skills and knowledge that will enable them to become facilitators of development as well as being advocates for good governance and democracy, through strategic partnerships with civil society media consumers and producers. There is also a need for trained and qualified media personnel to work in radio and television in PNG and the Solomon Islands. Radio is the most effective means of disseminating information in PNG, as newspapers do not reach much beyond the urban centres and TV is quite limited at the moment This Project will support the training of students who will promote a diverse, dynamic and free media that is vital to development, and bring improvements in the quality and diversity of media content. The Project will provide the impetus to develop a new generation of professionals that will promote and encourage through their work, more open, transparent information and communication systems, thus serving all levels of society and achieving media pluralism in PNG. This Project seeks to build the physical capacity for training, by improving space problems and upgrading existing equipment in the electronic media training facility at DWU. This facility is one of only two fully staffed electronic media training facilities in PNG, including UPNG. The Project envisages the installation of a video conferencing facility, setting up of a modern newsroom with computers and the upgrading of the Radio/TV Studio with new equipment. A new training complex building and its running costs is also a component of the Project. It must be stressed that the teaching and technical staff at DWU possess all the necessary skills to specify, order, install, commission, and expertly teach using the project items.

Documents
Project details
IPDC Bureau meeting nÂș: 
53

Implementation status :

Project evaluated:

Project scope:

Budget
Budget code: 
354 PNG 5081

Source of funds:

Beneficiary
Beneficiary name: 
Department for Communication Arts, Divine Word University (DWU)
Beneficiary address: 
P.O. Box 483, Madang, 511, MP.

Beneficiary country:

Beneficiary phone: 
+ (675) 854 1879
Location and contacts
UNESCO
Responsible UNESCO Regional advisers: 

Abel Caine, a.caine@unesco.org;

UNESCO Field Office:

Project contacts: 

Michael McManus, HOD, mmcmanus@dwu.ac.pg;

Project place: 
Divine Word University, Main Campus, Madang

Project region:

Follow-up and achievments
Summary of the project implementation: 

In order to achieve its objectives, the project has included establishment of a project management team to supervise planning and construction of the new studio; procurement and commissioning of the ICT equipment for the media studio as well as ongoing reporting and promotional activities. Despite the various adverse external pressures, significant progress is being made in this project. Through an independent initiative, Divine Word University has been able to acquire additional ICT equipment for its 3rd and 4th year students. The IPDC project once completed will serve to further alleviate equipment shortages and provide greater opportunities for developing the practical media and information skills that students require.

Achieved outputs: 
Preparation of the facility that will house the upgraded newsroom and tv/radio studio is near completion. The ICT equipment for the media studio will be installed on its arrival from Singapore. These activities to upgrade facilities are a morale booster for faculty and students. By delaying the shipment of the equipment and including it in a containerized shipment with other supplies for DWU this has significantly reduced freight charges. This has offset the declining value of United States dollar and the need to reduce equipment acquisition targets. Obtaining quotations from overseas equipment suppliers has been difficult and time consuming due to the remote location of DWU as well as the high risks ? insecurity, fraud and violent crime - in Papua New Guinea.