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Facilitated by ABC International Development, and conducted by veteran journalist Scott Waide, the first-of-its-kind training in Papua New Guinea aims to plug the skills gaps identified in the last 10 years, especially with news journalists.

“While we have students graduating from the University of Technology, Divine Word, the Pacific Adventist University and the University of Papua New Guinea, training gaps still remain,” Waide told Lae media after the second day of the weeklong training on Tuesday.

“And some of those gaps are very basic and shouldn’t be that way.

“With the help of ABC, this template was developed and we had to go through the training ourselves.

“A trainer, Chris Kimball, tested it on us and we suggested changes — for local context — and then we took the training and tested it on Chris and all our participants to see if it worked.”

The training includes the definition of public interest journalism, what constitutes public interest, interviewing tips and tools, writing structures, characteristics of a good journalist and the difference between proactive and reactive journalism.

“It seems very basic but if you look at it, the content is very relevant,” said Waide.

“If a person is graduating from another course, another programme in university, and then goes into news journalism; we’ll take him or her through that course and give that person a broad understanding of what news is and what journalism is.

“Particularly in Papua New Guinea, it’s about public interest journalism.

“We can talk about the big things, like politics and economics, but if there’s no understanding of why we’re doing it and why people are important in public interest journalism then that journalism actually becomes useless and worthless.”

Seven Highlands-based NBC presenters and broadcasters are also part of the training, including members of Lae media.

The training ended yesterday.

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