Interference in Media Reporting of Elections in PNG

 

The International Federation of Journalists

(IFJ) joins its partner the Pacific Freedom Forum (PFF) in expressing concern

regarding the reports of interference with media reporting by electoral

officers in two provinces of Papua New Guinea (PNG).

 

In a report first published by the PNG Media

Workers association, it is alleged that in two separate incidents journalists

at polling centres in PNG’s Western Highlands and Morobe provinces were impeded

in reporting on election results by returning officers.

 

On Monday 9th July, the returning officer for

the Huon/Gulf electorate in Morobe demanded payment for the release of

information on electoral results and verbally abused a reporter from the

country’s national broadcaster, NBC.Two days later, the returning officer

overseeing the counting for the Hagen Open polls in the Western Highlands

banned media from reporting the results of the polls.

 

“Access to reliable and impartial information

is a prerequisite for fair and open elections”, said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director

Jacqui Park.

 

“Interference with reporting of polling

results denies the public’s right to know, and is a blow against press freedom

and freedom of expression.

IFJ urges the full investigation of these

incidents, and urges PNG’s electoral officers to respect the role of the media

in the democratic process”.

 

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0950

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find

the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

Find

the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific