PAPUA NEW GUINEA’S NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMMISSION TO COME UNDER PRIME

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MINISTER’S CONTROL

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (May 5, 1999 - PACNEWS/The National)---Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Bill Skate has announced that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) will be brought under his responsibility.

He told participants at a Media Freedom Week course on ethics that as part of the change he would revive the defunct National Information Service.

Skate said the main goal of the NBC revisions was to restore it to its former "glory days."

"As we all know, NBC is the only medium that has the potential of almost 100 percent coverage of this nation. As of this week, NBC will be moved from the communications portfolio.

"Following the preliminary 'clean-up' work of Communications Minister Dr Fabian Pok, I am taking on the reform of the NBC."

The Prime Minister promised quality programs and information segments on health, basic mechanics, crop production and other essential subjects.

Skate made no mention of how the changes would affect current and ongoing moves to corporatize and eventually privatize the service.

NBC Chairman Chris Rangatin welcomed the changes announced by Skate.

"NBC now needs more help from the Government than ever before and the Prime Minister’s announcement on the reforms has pressed the start button for the organization to move forward," he said.

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