Scott Waide: Memo to our younger people – go out to rural PNG and tell their stories

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Scott Waide
Papua New Guinean journalist Scott Waide ... "We live in two worlds - one, urban and convenient and the other rural and difficult where men women and children die every day." Image: Scott Waide

COMMENT: By Scott Waide

Senior EMTV journalist and bureau chief Scott Waide in Papua New Guinea’s second city Lae this week called time on his inspirational 25-year relationship with the television channel. He is taking on other challenges, like Lekmak, and this was his social media message of thanks to supporters.


I didn’t quite realise how many people I touched positively through this work. It has been an emotional week talking to and encouraging, especially younger staff in Lae, Port Moresby, and the outer bureaus.

This transition has been harder on them. Personal messages have been overwhelming. They’ve come both from people I know and total strangers.

It has been a 25-year association with EMTV. Even with short absences, the relationship has always been there.

However, after two and a half decades and a third stint lasting almost 10 years, my contract has ended and I have decided to move on.

There have been a lot of questions and suggestions that I will or should contest in 2022.

The answer is NO. I have no interest in politics.

One of my primary goals was to give young people the opportunity to excel and to guide them as much as possible so that a new generation of journalists take on the challenges.

Creating opportunities
I spent a lot of time between Unitech and Divine Word University (DWU) talking to as many students as possible and creating opportunities – opportunities many of us didn’t have back then.

We live in two worlds – one, urban and convenient and the other rural and difficult where men women and children die every day.

There’s still a lot of work to be done. My hope is to see younger people go out to rural PNG and tell our people’s stories. Because if we don’t, they will only see government presence during election time and continue to suffer.

We must celebrate the good in our country. We must celebrate our people, culture and our way of life. We must appreciate our knowledge keepers, our elders and our children.

Papua New Guinea is a great country with huge opportunities.

For EMTV, it is a Papua New Guinean institution. It is a custodian of nearly 40 years of history. It is not just a cash cow for shareholders.

My appeal to the government is to care for this institution by choosing good people for the board and good organisational heads that understand this country and care about it.

Good leadership vital
Without good leadership, staff will suffer, good people will leave and the institution will be destroyed.

I want to thank my wife — Annette — and my children. They sacrificed and suffered a lot because I was absent when I was needed most.

While the job, from the outside, looked glamorous. It wasn’t. It takes an incredibly strong woman to live through the challenges.

I owe an enormous amount of gratitude to my brothers and sisters and my parents for their understanding.

Thank you to John Eggins, Sincha Dimara, Titi Gabi, Father Zdzislaw Mlak, Father Jan Czuba, Tukaha Mua and Bhanu Sud who gave me the opportunities. If it weren’t for these seven people, a lot of us would not have come this far.

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