PNG MEDIA COUNCIL CALLS FOR STANDARDS BOARD

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, April 8) - The head of Papua New
Guinea’s media council, Peter Aitsi, says an independent media standards
committee will be established to deal with complaints of bad journalism.

This comes amid complaints by Mike Manning, of the PNG
Institution of National Affairs, and Rod Mitchell, of PNG’s Superannuation
Fund, of being misreported over their recent report which was highly critical of
the country.

Manning co-authored the report "PNG on the Brink"
which suggested the country was wracked with corruption, crime and a
disintegrating infrastructure.

Mitchell had been quoted also suggesting corruption in PNG was
rife.

Aitsi says it is hoped that the media standards committee will
prevent such incidences in the future.

"An independent media standards committee will be headed by
members of the public, and this will be independent from the media council, and
so when incidences of misreporting or misrepresentation or even downright lazy
journalism takes place, the members of the public including the government can
make submissions to that committee and they will then process the matter and
come up with a ruling or a resolution," he said.

Aitsi said he hopes the standards committee will quell calls by
politicians for the introduction of laws to prosecute people who publicly
criticize PNG.

April 8, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com 

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