Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

Stronger organisational support can promote quality journalism

Feature Story 17 July 2023

Stronger organisational support can promote quality journalism

Gender-based issues, including sexual harassment and family and sexual violence, is a scourge that affects people all over the world.

Workplaces have a key role to play to support people affected by gender-based violence, it is the right thing to do and it is good business.

Maivo Lafanama has become a champion of creating a safe and supportive work environment.  As the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Chief News Editor, Mr Lafanama oversees up to 70 newsroom and regional personnel. His role requires him to supervise the daily delivery of news stories in addition to supporting and managing personnel.

He has shared his personal and professional awakening to the way gender-based issues affect his journalist colleagues as employees and as producers of during a gender, disability, and social inclusion workshop in April 2023 supported by the Australian Government and facilitated by the Media Development Initiative (MDI) and its partners. Mr Lafanama realised the importance of taking on the responsibility to address gender-based issues and find avenues to support those affected.

“In my role, I do address performance issues with my staff, and I have come to realise that with our women journalists, personal matters can really affect their performance and the quality of their reporting.”

Following the training, Mr Lafanama took it upon himself to find out what systems and policies NBC had in place to support their staff who were experiencing issues such as gender-based violence.

"I found the training very vital in helping me support the organisation (NBC) to develop and strengthen support systems for our staff. I realised that given my experience and the role I’m in, it’s important that I’m aware of this issue and to better support my team.”

With the support of NBC, Mr Lafanama obtained his law degree from the University of Papua New Guinea earlier this year. He is currently undergoing a further seven months training at the Legal Training Institute to obtain his law practicing certificate. Upon completion, Mr Lafanama plans to support NBC strengthen its legal division and establish effective policies and processes that will protect and support staff better.

“It is important that as journalists, we’re inclusive and aware of issues relating to gender and disability. We need to ensure that in addition to informing the public, we’re also at the forefront of practising and understanding what we’re reporting”.

To best represent this issue to the PNG people, Mr Lafanama is first, ensuring his own organisation has the appropriate systems in place to be a safe and supportive workplace. news.