4 Dec 2014

Australia scrutiny softened in PNG

2:19 pm on 4 December 2014

A Papua New Guinea journalist says the Australian government doesn't come under the same scrutiny it did when the Australian Associated Press operated locally.

020514. Photo RNZ. Papua New Guinea.

020514. Photo RNZ. Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

It's been just over a year since AAP announced the decision to close its PNG office, after a 60-year presence in the country.

The editor's chief of staff at the Post Courier, Todagia Kelola, says since AAP left, the Australian audience is likely to be missing out on stories that would have previously been covered.

He says as an example, Australia is a big player in PNG in terms of aid, and the new police assistance programme.

"When AAP was in the country they basically questioned if those Australian federal police who are here assisting in the Papua New Guinea constabulary, 'Are they performing?' 'Is it worth the Australian tax-payers [money]?' All these questions now, the PNG media are really not interested in addressing, or finding out."

He says previously the AAP would break PNG stories, and local media would then follow it up, but the roles have now reversed.