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SUVA, Fiji Islands (March 6, 2001 - PINA Nius Online)---TV producers and editors from around the region gathered in Suva are being reminded: Be especially respectful of religion and race.

The advice is in a code of conduct presentation by top international current affairs producer Paul Hawker to the Developing Pacific Current Affairs TV workshop, which began yesterday.

The workshop is coordinated by the Pacific Islands News Association's UNESCO/PINA Pacific Journalism Development Centre, hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and funded by the AusAID Pacific Media Initiative.

Hawker, a leading current affairs producer in both Australia and New Zealand, and the SPC's regional TV specialist, Conrad Mill, head the training team for the 10-day program.

They are being supported by specialist speakers such as Fiji Television's Ken Clark and Richard Broadbridge, SPC's Aren Baoa, and Pacific Magazine managing editor Laisa Taga, a former TV producer.

Hawker, in his code of conduct presentation, says: "Be especially respectful of other religions and races. The easiest way to check this is to ask yourself: 'If someone was saying that about my religion and race would I mind?' "

Hawker's code of conduct rules include stressing such issues as:

§ You are an invited guest into the living rooms of thousands of people. As their guest you need to show respect to them.

§ Your job is to report on events and facts and provide a vehicle for informed opinion. Be wary of voicing an opinion and be sure that when you do report opinions they're well sourced.

§ You can't use your time on TV to pursue your own agendas and interests, voice uninformed or unsourced opinions or to lecture people either directly or by inference.

§ Imagine the worse case scenario, 'What if this is wrong? What will happen to others, to me?'

§ People have to trust that what we are doing is based on sound information. One error can undo years of reputation.

Workshop participants come from PINA TV Industry Group member stations in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Niue, and the Cook Islands as well as Fiji Television and the Fiji Film and TV Unit.

The workshop continues a series of such regional television training programs jointly run by the AusAID Pacific Media Initiative, PINA and the SPC.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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