Solomon Islands media urges democracy recognition, media NOT invited to participate in Interational Day of Decmocracy as equal partners
The Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) is calling for the long-overdue recognition of the pivotal role that media plays in a democratic society. While the media is often viewed as a mere platform for various interests, MASI asserts that it is high time for organizations, stakeholders and the government to acknowledge its indispensable role in the development of a truly democratic Solomon Islands. In a society that proudly claims its democratic principles, the media should be regarded as an essential stakeholder. Unfortunately, media in the Solomon Islands is often misunderstood and underestimated, being seen primarily as a tool for propaganda rather than as a vital partner in the democratic process.
MASI’s call for recognition comes on this International Day of Democracy when the Solomon Islands are striving to strengthen their democratic institutions. The media plays a multifaceted role in this endeavor. It acts as a watchdog, holding those in power accountable for their actions, and provides citizens with information necessary for making informed decisions. Without a robust and independent media, the principles of transparency and accountability remain elusive. The media’s contribution to democracy goes beyond this watchdog role. It serves as a forum for diverse voices and opinions, fostering public discourse and promoting civic engagement. By providing a platform for citizens to express their views and concerns, the media enriches the democratic fabric of the nation.
The MASI Board said “Media should no longer be perceived as a tool but as an equal partner in the development of a democratic Solomon Islands. We must recognize that an empowered media is not just a facilitator of information; it is a guardian of democracy.”
MASI says recognizing the media’s role in a democracy also means safeguarding its independence and freedom from undue influence.
On International Day of Democracy, an organized public event was held in Honiara with the theme “Inclusive participation for a stronger democracy in Solomon Islands”. Media nor its newsroom editors were invited to this event.