News

EMTV Response to News Staff Walk Off

EMTV News Staff Walk Off

EMTV responds to the Post Courier article dated 18th February 2022

EMTV Management wishes to advise that the decision taken to suspend the Head of News and Current Affairs, Ms Sincha Dimara, was for allowing and standing by news coverage stories promoting Jamie Pang as a role model. The news stories reported that, “Jamie Pang has been somewhat of a role model”, “He has a good heart”, “He has a big heart for local Papua New Guineans”, “Pang has an impressive community engagement”, and that “His teachings were about discipline, honour and respect that promoted public safety for our women and children”.

There was no balance in the reports. It is public knowledge that Pang was convicted and fined for being in possession of illegal firm arms. He was acquitted on the charges related to methemphetamine due to the substance not being declared as a dangerous drug by our laws. As soon as Pang was acquitted, the PNG authorities arrested and detained him for the possibility of deportation. At that time the above sympathetic reports were published.

The actions taken by the Head of News and Current Affairs were in breach of EMTV News and Current Affairs Operating Standards in circumstances where the materials published undermine the administration of justice and disrespectful to the courts. Such actions tend to erode public confidence in our courts and the values they uphold. The reports also diminishes public confidence and brings disrepute to EMTV.

The suspension of the Head of News and Current Affairs is an internal disciplinary process. EMTV news staff were informed by management on 10th February 2022 that an internal investigation would be conducted to address their letter of demand to reinstate the Head of News and Current Affairs. The news staff were requested to operate business as usual and to maintain the status quo during the investigation.

The decision by EMTV news staff to walk off their jobs at 4.21pm on Thursday 17th February 2022 in support of Sincha Dimara’s actions, hence failing to air the 6.00pm news bulletin, was an act of insubordination against management’s advice to refrain from threatening to take matters into their own hands. The news staff walkout has brought disrepute to EMTV, caused major high risk disruptions to the broadcast operation, and has put the livelihood of 81 diligent employees in other departments at risk. The actions taken by the staff to walk off their jobs were at their own discretion and peril.

EMTV Management further wishes to advise that around 5.00pm on Friday 4th of February, management made it very clear to the news staff in the newsroom that the memo requesting to drop all stories on that particular day, was to review the rundown to ensure that EMTV did not air a 5th consecutive story promoting Pang and his sympathetic supporters. EMTV management clearly informed the news staff to continue to pursue coverage on Pang’s stories related to law and order of the state. The news staff agreed and confirmed that an interview was scheduled the following Monday on Pang’s detainment. Since then, the news staff purposely refused to cover stories on Pang including his recent arrest for alleged rape.

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