14 Nov 2003

PNG prime minister withdraws threat to regulate the media

11:37 am on 14 November 2003

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare, has withdrawn his call for the PNG media to be regulated.

Sir Michael made the comment in Parliament this week after the reporting of the latest Transparency International survey on corruption which rated PNG as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

Sir Michael said he wanted to see people involved in such surveys confront him with names, facts and figures instead of generalisations.

He said journalists who report such items should be given passports as they act like foreigners.

But our correspondent in Port Moresby Peter Niesi says Sir Michael retracted the call when he met with the Media Council on Wednesday.

"During that meeting, Sir Michael emphatically indicated that he wasn't about to regulate the media, but expected a little bit more nationalistic reporting that dealt with more deyail instead of sensationalising issues and making a bad press image of Papua New Guinea."