2 Feb 2004

PNG gang burns down newspaper office

4:30 pm on 2 February 2004

The Port Moresby offices of Papua New Guinea's only pidgin-language newspaper, the Wantok, have been burnt down by a criminal gang which had earlier removed computer files.

Taking advantage of an almost city-wide blackout due to thunderstorms, 15 men entered the premises early on Saturday and tied up a security guard

The general manager Jeremy Burgess says the newspaper will temporarily relocate to continue production from the premises of another publishing company.

Last year, the church-owned company, Word Publishing, stopped publishing its English-language weekly, The Independent, because of financial problems.

But the surviving Wantok newspaper has remained a key link to the public in PNG, whose print media is dominated by two English-language dailies.