New PNG media policy threatens press freedom

Posted on 01 March 2023

A new media law is being proposed in PNG, reestablishing the Papua New Guinea Media Council (PNGMC) to have licensing control over journalists. The PNGMC has historically been a separate, unfunded institution - and there is concern that the changes will threaten democracy in the nation. 
The government’s justification is to improve the quality of journalism, however President of MCPNG Neville Choi challenges this. “If the concern is poor journalism, then the solution is more investment in schools of journalism at tertiary institutions, this will also improve diversity and pluralism in the quality of journalism."
Shailendra Singh, senior journalism lecturer at the University of the South Pacific, worries that the media landscape will follow the footsteps of Fiji. "If the PNG media policy provisions are ill-defined, as the Fiji Media Act was, and if it has harsh punitive measures, it could also result in a chilling effect on journalism and this in turn could have major implications for democracy and freedom of speech in PNG."


PNG media democracy