8 Apr 2003

PNG media council to deal with bad journalism

10:28 am on 8 April 2003

The head of Papua New Guinea's media council, Peter Aitsi, says an independent media standards committee will be established to deal with complaints of bad journalism.

This comes amid claims by Mike Manning from PNG's Institution of National Affairs, and Rod Mitchell from PNG's Superannuation Fund of their being misreported over their criticisms against the government.

Mr Manning co-authored the report "PNG on the Brink" which suggested the country was wracked with corruption, crime and a disintegrating infrastructure.

Mr Mitchell had been quoted also suggesting corruption in PNG was rife.

Mr Aitsi says it's hoped the media standards committee will prevent such incidences occurring.

"An independent media standards committee will be headed by members of the public, and this will be independent from the media council and so when incidences of misreporting or misrepresentation or even downright lazy journalism takes place, the members of the public including the government can make submissions to that committee and they will then process the matter and come up with a ruling or a resolution."

Peter Aitsi says it's hoped the standards committee will quell calls by politicians for the introduction of laws to prosecute people who publicly criticise PNG.