29 Aug 2006

PNG government defends accreditation for journalists covering Southern Highlands

1:14 pm on 29 August 2006

The Papua New Guinea government says it is simply providing assistance to the media after imposing requirements that journalists be accredited to cover the state of emergency in the Southern Highlands.

The acting secretary of the Information Department, Henao Iduhu, says they need to assist and guide journalists reporting in the province to ensure that the information is factual and accurate.

The PNG Media Council says the restrictions should be lifted because they are not necessary.

But, Mr Iduhu, who's also the chairman of the committee overseeing the applications for accreditation, says the process is needed.

"I think that is our responsibility - it's providing media liaison and a partnership with the media industry to provide media coverage of government events and government management. And, I think so far so good, we are pretty happy about it."

Mr Iduhu would not comment on what would occur if the committee was not happy with the media reporting.