Pacific Media Watch

18 February 2018

PNG: Media Council blames 'primitive thinking' for bullying of journalists

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Another attack on a PNG journalist ... "intimidation and assault over unfounded allegations of bias". Image: Loop PNG

PORT MORESBY (Loop PNG/PNG Media Council/Pacific Media Watch): The Media Council of Papua New Guinea has blamed "primitive, close-minded thinking", and a general lack of understanding of the role of the media over the latest attack on the media.

The MCPNG is referring to the assault of Post-Courier’s Lae-based journalist Frankiy Kapin by officers of the Governor for Morobe.

In a statement yesterday, the council said that for the officers of a provincial governor to intimidate and assault a single Papua New Guinean journalist on unfounded allegations of bias, was a shame on their public office.

“The media does not take sides. Its role is to report on and inform its audiences, who are the people of PNG, on the performance of its elected leaders; based on a generally accepted level and standard of effective leadership," the statement said.

“It does not push the agenda of any single personality, or grouping.

“Intimidation of media practitioners is draconian behaviour, and something neither accepted, nor condoned by the industry.

“We, the media, are the voice for many who have no say about how public funds are being expended, or how offices of leadership are run.”

Meanwhile, the MCPNG has called on the Morobe Governor, Ginson Saonu, to "educate his officers" in that attacking the media or its journalists was not the way to improving the public image of the Office of the Governor.

“As representatives of the media in PNG, we call for an immediate apology from the Governor’s Office, and an assurance that no such incidents will be repeated in future," the statement said.

“The MCPNG commends Mr Kapin for reporting the incident to police, and would like to call on the police in Lae, to ensure justice is swiftly served.”

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