5 Nov 2013

Demoted PNG journalists may be looking for new jobs

10:05 pm on 5 November 2013

Three senior journalists in Papua New Guinea fear their removal from the newsroom is permanent.

Following reports on the Government's takeover of the Ok Tedi mine, and reports alleging Government corruption, they were demoted to the archives division.

Alex Perrottet has more.

"Mulai Robby and Michael Asagoni are broadcasters with NBC Television and Radio with over 20 years' experience each. Dick Sorariba is an executive producer. They were all given demotion letters which said their reports were not balanced. The TV reports ran a statement by the leader of the opposition, Belden Namah, accusing the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neil, of involvement in the alleged corrupt payments to the recently-arrested lawyer Paul Paraka. There was also a report the following day with both sides of the story and another follow-up report with just the Government's view. Journalists say the NBC management, which has not responded to requests for comment, has been pressured by the Government. The long-criticised PNG Media Council has again remained silent. One of the demoted editors, Michael Asagoni, is currently the council's president. The three fear the move is permanent and are looking at other employment options."