Papua New Guinea Political Orientation
Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy with a Parliamentary Democracy
Head of State: King Charles III, represented in Papua New Guinea by a Governor-General, Robert Dadae. The monarch stands as a ceremonial figurehead
Leader: Prime Minister James Marape (May 2019)
Political Party: Papua & Niugini Union Pati (PANGU)
Political Position: Center-Left Nationalist
MBFC’s Country Freedom Rating: 64.31 – Moderate Freedom
World Press Freedom Rank: Papua New Guinea 59/180
Papua New Guinea, a former British colony and Australian protectorate, became independent in 1975. Its media industry, tasked with serving 8.3 million residents speaking 80 languages, remains underdeveloped. Despite some freedom, journalists face challenges. Freedom House considers Papua New Guinea “partly free” regarding press freedom.
Media Ownership and Government Analysis
Both state and private radio and television stations operate in Papua New Guinea. The two daily English-language newspapers, The National and the Post-Courier are owned by Malaysian logging company Rimbunan Hijau and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, respectively. EMTV News is owned by state-owned Telikom PNG. Meanwhile, the state-owned National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) (formerly Kundu 2) runs Radio PNG.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Papua New Guinea’s NBC recently renewed their partnership agreement, prioritizing media development and staff training to bolster public service contributions. In Papua New Guinea, many communities rely on radio for news due to the country’s rugged terrain and high television costs.
In February 2023, the Communications Minister proposed a new media development policy, raising concerns about increased government control, including potential journalist licensing and regulatory changes. Industry professionals advocating for self-regulation have requested extended consultation and critique.
Although Papua New Guinea’s media landscape permits a certain level of press freedom, journalists can face challenges, including threats and violence, especially when covering politically sensitive topics or corruption. For example, in April 2020, the police minister of Papua New Guinea, Bryan Kramer, attacked two journalists, calling for their dismissal and accusing them of bias and misrepresentation of a financial report by Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey. This type of threat can lead to self-censorship.
Overall, the country’s media landscape comprises a mix of state and private ownership but faces challenges regarding press freedom, particularly when reporting on sensitive issues involving the government and corruption.
Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by Media Bias Fact Check
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