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Solomon Islands launch country’s first TV Service

This week marked the inauguration of the Solomon Islands’ first national television service, the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) TV Service. SIBC’s SBD18.5M TV Service was officially launched on 17 November by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, MP, who is also the Minister responsible for SIBC, 71 years after the founding of the national radio broadcaster.

“Today is a historic day as SIBC launches its television service,” stated Prime Minister Sogavare. “We are also here to officially initiate SIBC’s coverage of the 17th Pacific Games.” He congratulated SIBC on this milestone, adding that the launch aligns with the National Broadcasting Policy’s vision of “a peaceful, united, and progressive Solomon Islands engaging with, enjoying, and learning from broadcasting that is accessible to all.”

The Prime Minister’s mission is to provide a policy and framework where broadcasting is available, affordable, and accessible to everyone in the Solomon Islands, supporting equal participation in the nation’s social, cultural, economic, and political life. He recalled a meeting with the SIBC board in early February, where he affirmed the government’s support and pledged assistance for SIBC to launch the country’s first national TV service in time for the Pacific Games.

“Today, we witness the fulfilment of that assurance,” he remarked. “This event also demonstrates the strong partnership and determination of the DCGA and SIBC to serve our people.” He expressed profound gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which funded the majority of the SBD18.5 million project, and acknowledged the technical assistance received from MMG Communications Limited of New Zealand.

Emphasizing the significance of the new national TV service, PM Sogavare highlighted SIBC’s responsibility to deliver content with utmost professionalism. “The government will continue its support, expecting SIBC to perform its duties professionally and ethically. Ultimately, it is the people we serve who matter most.”

He affirmed the citizens’ right to information, stressing that SIBC’s adherence to a code of ethics ensures this. The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, he noted, states that “public enlightenment is the precursor of justice and the foundation of democracy,” and outlines the principles of ethical journalism: seeking truth and reporting it; minimizing harm; acting independently; and being accountable and transparent.