SOLOMONS LOOKS TO ESTABLISH MEDIA TRAINING

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PM supports strong, independent press

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 24, 2009) – The long cherished dream to have a permanent media training school in Solomon Islands has moved closer to reality with strong support from the Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement (CNURA) government.

A delegation made up of members of the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI), the Director of the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE) and a representative from RAMSI’s Solomon Islands Media Association Scheme (SOLMAS) met with the Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua on June 10 to seek Government support for the project.

The project involves establishing a Media and Journalism Certificate course at SICHE, starting February 2010.

The course will be the first of its kind in the Solomon Islands and will require students to complete18 months of full-time study.

Short-term evening classes will also be available for those already employed in the media and other businesses in the Solomon Islands.

Currently, students seeking a career in the media must pursue their training in various South Pacific countries including Fiji, Vanuatu, New Zealand or Australia.

The prohibitive cost of such training has prevented many from following a media career or getting proper training. The Prime Minister, who is also patron of MASI, strongly endorsed the media and journalism course by agreeing to sponsor 10 full time student places and help facilitate the building of a classroom at SICHE which will house the course.

Dr Sikua said he understood the importance of a strong, independent media in the Solomon Islands to fully reflect the views of the Government and the people and to underpin democracy.

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

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