Friday, 6 June 2008 4:22 AM

Somare Warns PNG Media

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, warned his country's media about the consequences of their type of reporting at a conference this week.

As reported by The National, PM Somare made the comment this week when questioned on his stance on the recent deportation of two of Fiji's newspaper publishers.
Mr. Somare refused to condemn the deportations and instead 'warned reporters covering his press conference to expect the consequence of what they write or broadcast'.

The report quotes Sir Michael as saying, "You are very lucky, I have not deported anyone of you yet, for writing something contrary."

'The Prime Minister said sometimes Government has proper plans and bright ideas but these are twisted by the press'.

Sir Michael told reporters that Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, had explained the reasons for the deportations at the recent Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in Vanuatu.
He added that, "For a country like Fiji, we all know that they are trying to preserve the image of their country while newspapers are trying to give the wrong impression of what they are doing . . . well, that's the consequence of your making."

Meanwhile, according to The National, the PNG Media Council 'has welcomed the comments by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare'.

'President of the Media Council of PNG Joe Kanekane said his new executive is committed to raising the standard of journalism and is now working towards re-instituting the Independent Media Standards Committee (IMSC), an independent body to monitor and keep check on what the media is reporting'.

"On the other hand, the council urges the Government to ensure that journalists' and the public's access to information is readily available to help our industry personnel to report accurately," he said in a statement.