Division of Media and Information Services, EPFM/Ngerel Belau T8AA, is soon to expand their media services.
The expansion is made possible through a grant from GCCA+SUPA, the Global Climate Change Alliance Plus Initiative and Scaling Up Pacific Adaptations which works to enhance community health and resilience to climate change and disasters in Palau.
Under this grant, Division of Media partnered with two other beneficiaries, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, to film and promote works on climate change said Division Chief Makiei.
The grant money will be used to purchase equipment for onsite live broadcasting and a vehicle to transport them.
Chief Makieireported that they have their own channel and will put it to use when they begin having live broadcasting. PNCC has provided them and MOU in their tower at Malakal and another one at PNCC building
“Thanks to the help of PNCC, we will be setting up our van with the equipment so that we can go on site and do broadcast that will do live reports to our channel, youtube and facebook with just a sim card. But of course if the connection is down then we can’t and plus we also pay PNCC’s internet connection” said Makiei.
“We will only be doing reporting on community events such as OBF’s or NGO activities that help promote NGO’s. We would also like to attend events that are out of state events like the ribbon cutting ceremonies and donation events which we were not able to do due to lack of people and equipment” said the Chief.
According to the Executive Order 348 which re-organized the Ministry of State, it states that the responsibility of the Division of Media and Information Services under the Bureau of Domestic Affairs is to disseminate “all information from the Executive Branch to the public.”
Mr. Salvador Tellames, owner and broadcaster of Palau Wave Radio expressed his opposition to the government’s plan to expand. “I don’t think it is right for the government to go into media service. They should rely on private sector. We pay taxes just to have them compete against us in the same field.”
Asked why they would be going into reporting, where they would be competing with many of Palau’s private media outlets doing the same type of work,Makiei said, “There will be those types of news that we won’t be able to cover and that’s when the private steps in.”
“We don’t involve ourselves in anything political, unless for example such as the recent presidential debate where we were requested by people to link up with Mr.Tellames. We have to have a disclaimer.A person who requests us have to sign a formthat we use as a protection when we do get into those types of work.”
Speaking with their media studio programmer, who has worked with the government media for many years, on his take on doing live broadcasting and reporting of these community events for the government.
Mr. Patrick Moses said “the one I know is that broadcasting or media should be independent, if it is under the government it should be a separate institution and nowadays there is no such thing as government radio station around the world”.
The event taking place could happen differently Mr. Moses explains, where all they would need to do is set up equipment to broadcast and the people of the event do what they would need to do because it is their event and times where he will be there as a co-commentator.
When given the scenario of being a co-commentator at a government event and would need to ask sensitive questions.
He mentions “You have to have common sense and ask questions related to the topic and not in a way that “throws stones” he phrases. For me, also you have to ask questions on behalf of the people too. Even though I am under the government, the people are the boss”
The Division of Media have already received their grant but is in the process of training people under PREP to doing this kind work and in search of someone who knows how to work film.

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