LOCAL journalists urge to be responsible and provide balanced reporting from Parliament.
Tongatapu 3 constituency MP Dr. Sitiveni Halapua reveals this when he opens a one day Media and Parliament at the Legislative Assembly’s Office this morning.
Dr. Halapua says media are dubbed as watchdog and play a crucial role in providing information to the society.
“Media plays a vital role as communicator with the public in providing and disseminating of information on Parliament to the people,” said Dr. Halapua.
He also calls on them that it is entirely their choice to provide balanced and fair reporting but they should also be responsible for their news reporting.
Dr. Halapua says media may have a different interpretation on their political reporting but it is essential to provide balanced positive and negative news reporting.
The one day event is funded by the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) aims at strengthening the ties between Parliament and the media as messengers and information distributors.
Legislative Assembly Education Unit believes the media has and will always play a huge role in Tonga’s political development.
Speaking to participants Head of the Education Unit, Dr. Sione Vikilani says there’s a need for a close partnership between the media, politicians and the public.
“Media needs politicians for their news stories, politicians need the media to get their message across to the public. People needs media for information and news to keep them informed as they elected their MPs to Parliament. These parties need to work in collaboration to maintain peace and stability in the country.”
He also mentioned that media plays a crucial role as messenger in the society.
Topics discussed include Roles and Functions of Parliament; Rules of Procedures and Standing Orders; Roles and functions of Parliamentary Committees; The Legislative process, When to report on issues and Contempt of Parliament.