11 Nov 2013

Journalists under pressure in PNG as PM issues warning

7:50 am on 11 November 2013

Journalists in Papua New Guinea are feeling the pressure from members of Parliament as controversial stories break in the media.

The Government is in the process of taking over the Ok Tedi mine from the Sustainable Development Program, and its head, the former Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta, has warned millions of dollars in projects for communities is at stake.

On Thursday night, the media adviser for the Sustainable Development Programme, Mark Davis, was deported to Australia.

And on Friday the Prime Minister, Peter O'Neil, warned journalists not to defame the Government, after the national broadcaster demoted three veteran editors and producers whose reports were referred to as imbalanced.

A PNG journalist, Titi Gabi, says non-government media outlets are also harrassed.

"This particular TV company has got instructions from the top, saying you can't run anything on us that's negative because if you do, you know, we'll force you to sell your shares, we won't renew your licence. So what you have is managers interfering with news, how ridiculous is that?"

Titi Gabi.