Australian Associated Press To Close PNG Office

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AAP cites ‘changing times,’ end of correspondent’s contract

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 31, 2013) – The editor in chief of Australian Associated Press, or AAP, says a decision to close its office in Papua New Guinea after a 60-year presence was not taken lightly.

Tony Gillies says fast-changing times meant the newswire had to consider the best use of available resources, and decided it could better deploy its resources elsewhere.

He says its sole bureau correspondent in Port Moresby came to the end of his three year tenure, and AAP will simply not be replacing him.

But he says AAP is not abandoning coverage of PNG altogether.

"We’ll be monitoring developments out of PNG daily from our national desk here in Australia. We are building a network of freelancer reporters and photographers and we have scheduled a number of visits to PNG to focus on feature stories and news stories that aren’t so time critical. So we’ll maintain a presence in that way."

Tony Gillies says it is a significant development, given the important role AAP has played in covering PNG for Australian audiences since the mid 1950s.

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