The Commissioner of the Vanuatu Police Force (VPF), Albert Nalpini, has cautioned against using press freedom for profit making.
Commissioner Nalpini said it must be use to benefit the people through providing accurate information that the people can use to make decisions to better their communities or society.
The Commissioner was the guest of honor at the World Press Freedom Day 2018 celebration held at the Alliance Francaise in Port Vila, organized by the Media Association of Vanuatu (MAV).
In his speech he thanked the media for inviting him to address the occasion of celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2018 in Vanuatu.
He said the Government is recognizing media’s contribution to the development of Vanuatu more and more.
“Today, i am glad that we at the VPF can be part of what we are doing here today,” he added.
“With the introduction of social media, members of the communities are coming to interact more with national leaders. There are more discussions on national issues, people are more able to ask questions, direct questions to national leaders and were able to receive their answers.”
The Commissioner of Police warned against using social media to tarnish another person’s name and image.
“It is true that people use the social media to promote rumors to tarnish the image of another person, this we need to work more to address this sort of issues and control them," he said.
“Overall, social media and traditional media, both play an important role in the community or society.
“This year’s theme for World Press Freedom Day, ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and Rule of Law’ is interesting because it points to media and its stakeholders working together and the effectiveness of cooperation on press freedom.
“We also read the picture of democracy in this theme. It highlights the importance of a legal environment of a press freedom and gives special attention to the work of an independent judiciary that guarantees press freedom and asks protection against prosecution of crimes against journalists and other media practitioners.
“This theme ties well all the components of fairness, freedom and justice in the work of the media and the work of government as well. Where the theme focuses on media it also expresses itself in the role media plays, it is also important to look at the benefits of press freedom."
Commissioner Nalpini said: “We must be careful that we do not use press freedom to make money for the companies. At the end of the day, it is the people that should benefit from the freedom that press has to provide correct and accurate information. Only through this can people reach a right state of mind to make correct decisions such as for elections and even for their day-to-day decisions that they must make in the communities, for the betterment of families to actively participate in their communities and the nation as a whole.”
Other speeches at the ceremony came from the President of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), Councilor Moses Stevens and VANGO President, Lai Sakita.
The President of MAV, Evelyne Toa, thanked the Commissioner of Police for accepting a late invitation to give the key message to the media fraternity on World Press Freedom Day commemoration and to challenge them to continually their performances in their role in nation building for Vanuatu.
Mrs. Toa thanked all media colleagues who took the time to participate in the event. She also thanked 96 BuzzFM for broadcasting the event 'live' and streaming it 'live' on the internet.