By Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby
United Nations Women office in PNG has recognised EMTV journalists, Deborah Pranis and Florence Jonduo, for excellence in reporting on HIV and Gender Based Violence in Papua New Guinea.
Both journalists were recognised for their reporting on EMTV’s Olsem Wanem program, a 30-minute documentary that looks into social issues affecting ordinary Papua New Guineans.
The UN Women’s Awards is a joint initiative by UN Women and UN Aids to recognise journalists who write stories on human rights.
It is aimed at promoting the work of journalists who highlight the challenges and abuses ordinary Papua New Guineans face within their communities and from the people they call family.
Journalist, Deborah Pranis, received the first award. Ms Pranis was acknowledged on a documentary she compiled on Sorcery killings in the Highlands.
Pranis said the credit goes to all individuals she interviewed and featured on her program. In her episode she interviewed the family of the women who were accused of practicing sorcery.
“As we all know, Papua New Guineans are very private people and for these people who have gone through torture and discrimination, it took them a lot of courage to come out and speak about their experiences especially to the media.”
Florence Jonduo, another journalist from the weekly program, Olsem Wanem, was recognised for her story on Transgender issues; male sex workers encounter on a daily basis. The experience of featuring the challenges male sex workers face, journalist Jonduo says it taught her to view everyone as equal by birth and right.
“It took us one week to do the interviews and put together the program and I learnt that most of the sex workers receive verbal abuses when moving around,” Ms Jonduo said.
Post Courier’s Abraham Avidiba, a Lae-based journalist, took out the third award for a news piece he wrote on a male sex worker.
His story described how the sex worker found medical help in private hospitals more accessible compared to a public hospital.
Avidiba said because of the sensitivity of the story, he was very selective on the words he used so as not to insult the male sex worker.
“I had to be careful on the kind of words I used in speaking to the male sex worker,” Abidiva said.
The recognising of journalism work in PNG, unlike other professions, is rare. These awards are predicted to boost journalists’ morale and encourage them to continue to report on HIV & Gender Based Violence issues within Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.