4 Dec 2014

Reporting on PNG downhill - Professor Robie

10:15 am on 4 December 2014

The director of the Pacific Media Centre in Auckland says reporting on Papua New Guinea has gone downhill in the year since the Australian Associated Press closed its PNG bureau.

The editor in chief of AAP, Tony Gillies, says they now use a combination of freelancers, global agency partnerships and former PNG correspondent staff to keep abreast of developments in PNG.

But the director of the Pacific Media Centre and editor of Pacific Media Watch, Professor David Robie, says it's clear that things have deteriorated since the AAP closure.

"Of course the major crises, for example, developments with asylum seekers and so on, they still get intensive media coverage, but largely it's a sort of a parachute journalism type approach now. Whereas before, when AAP were operating, you were getting fairly comprehensive coverage of what is the most complex country in the Pacific."

David Robie says as a flow-on effect, media in the region is suffering as a result.

He says for example, New Zealand has often relied on Australian media for its coverage of PNG, so New Zealand's PNG reporting is likely worse now.