7 Nov 2013

PNG national broadcaster boss hits out at claims of demotions

6:42 pm on 7 November 2013

Papua New Guinea's national broadcaster has denied reports that three veterans removed from the newsroom were demoted.

The managing director, Memafu Kapera, has issued a press release saying Mulai Robby, Michael Asagoni and Dick Sorariba have been re-assigned to special duties.

The editors and producers of TV and radio programmes and are now in the archive division of NBC.

Mr Kapera says they breached editorial policy and failed to follow instructions, but would not say which reports undermined NBC's reputation of fairness and impartiality.

Colleagues close to the journalists say they were demoted after reports of the government's takeover of the Ok Tedi mine and allegations the prime minister, Peter O'Neill, was implicated in the corruption case against an arrested lawyer, Paul Paraka.

One of the editors concerned, Mr Asagoni, is the acting president of the media council, which has long been criticised for inaction.