IN HIS 1997 ADDRESS at the United Nations former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan said “knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”
As Vanuatu races towards achieving its objective to technologically connect 98% of the country by 2018 the citizens, and especially those that work in mass communication, need to be updated on how to use trending communication tools and applications that everybody else around the world is using.
From the 22nd to the 24th of November 2016, the Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) hosted a 3 day Digital and Social Media Workshop for media specialists and journalists around Port Vila at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology.
The workshop was facilitated by David Bathur the co-founder of a consultancy firm is called Simpatico based in Australia. Simpatico is a training and consulting firm dedicated to helping organizations to ‘digitally transform’ themselves.
Focusing on how to deliver accurate information to readers, the workshop revealed to the participant’s internet tools that can be used to identify the background or find out whether a news article or a trending photo is genuine or fake.
The workshop assisted participants to create accounts in the different social media platforms as well how to reach as many people as possible with information.
In an interview with the former head of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer in 2014, Mr. Fred Samuel told Transparency International Vanuatu that “information is like power, and with this power comes responsibility, we have to use information for the right purposes.”
Therefore, having the right training’s and professional advice is a key to ensuring that information is shared responsibly.
As more media platforms are introduced to share information with the masses it is the responsibility of those that facilitate that process to be insightful of these media platforms and to be up-skilled to be able to contribute to national development.