28 Jan 2005

PNG media industry boosted by Australian aid

4:20 pm on 28 January 2005

A new five year program launched yesterday will boost Papua New Guinea's media industry and increase access to information on health, education, HIV/AIDS, agriculture and important development issues.

It is funded under the Australia-PNG aid program, with AusAID providing around 1.6 million US dollars for the first phase.

This phase will run over the next 18 months with further funding provided once the program moves into the second phase.

Speaking at the launch of the PNG Media for Development Initiative (MDI), the head of AusAID in PNG John Davidson said the program supported an open and democratic media and gave a voice to all Papua New Guineans.

Mr Davidson also said that the MDI would help building community networks; improving governance by providing information on government programs, and holding governments and other institutions more accountable at all levels.

PNG Media Council president Peter Aitsi said the MDI offered a unique opportunity to enhance the provision of quality media services that contributed to PNG's future stability and prosperity.