28 Aug 2006

PNG Media Council to discuss restrictions imposed on journalists

6:19 pm on 28 August 2006

The Papua New Guinea Media Council is meeting tomorrow to discuss what action to take in regard to restrictions imposed by the government on journalists covering the Southern Highlands.

They are now required to apply for formal accreditation to go to the province with the acting Information minister, Patrick Pruaitch, saying the intention is to ensure positive reporting about the state of emergency.

The president of the media council, Peter Aitsi, says they're attempting to hold a meeting with Mr Pruaitch to find out what is behind the restrictions.

Mr Aitsi says the government imposed similar requirements on journalists covering the Bougainville crisis but they don't yet know the official reasons in this instance.

"If the intent is to prevent the free work of the media in the coverage of Southern Highlands, then we will make our position fairly clear in terms of our opposition to the measure. If it's purely in terms of the security of movement through people, then we will tackle that and say, look, that's best left to the individual organisations."

Peter Aitsi