PNG news chief reinstated

5:04 pm on 22 August 2019

The head of news at Papua New Guinea's EMTV has been reinstated just two days after being sacked.

Neville Choi's reinstatement letter.

Neville Choi's reinstatement letter. Photo: Sylvester Gawi

On Tuesday, the EMTV evening news bulletin was cancelled for the first time in 30 years as EMTV staff went on strike to protest their colleague's firing.

However, this morning Mr Choi's letter of reinstatement was circulated on social media as the Post Courier newspaper reported Mr Choi had been given his job back.

The Pacific Islands News Association had offered to mediate the conflict that led to the dismissal, which was reportedly over alleged insubordination.

The Pacific Freedom Forum called the termination heavy handed and backed calls for the communications minister to intervene.

Last year, EMTV's Lae Bureau chief reporter Scott Waide was suspended over his reporting of November's APEC summit but was re-instated after a public outcry.

Mr Waide said APEC coverage and reporting on Defence Force pay were related to the latest stoush.

EMTV's news bulletin on Monday was also affected by the industrial action, he said.

"So it was a gradual shutdown. On Monday, no local content. On Tuesday there was no news at all, they replayed Monday's news," Mr Waide said.

"And on Wednesday, the company decided to hire a few other reporters and an anchor. It was quite difficult for them to find an anchor who was willing."

Mr Waide said EMTV journalists were happy about Mr Choi's reinstatement and were keen to get back to work.

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