President of the PNG Media Council Joe R. Kanekane has called for increased dialogue between the government, newsmakers and the media.
Mr Kanekane said access to information had been and continued to be the biggest impediment to development of the country.
“One of the key recommendations to the government and news makers following the recent successful media conference was the need to make available information in a timely, and unsanctioned way,” said Mr Kanekane.
Mr Kanekane made this remarks in light of the ban on Post-Courier to cover the 2009 budget this week. He said, the action by the government pushes further, initiatives to make the media more accountable to its quality of reporting.
Mr Kanekane said Post-Courier was a leading media establishment and the absence of its budget coverage in all its years is sad indeed. The Post-Courier has faithfully covered budgets since its inception, and last Tuesday’s event marks a dark chapter in disseminating pivotal information -the 2009 Budget.
“The six million people deserve to be informed on a significant issue like the National Budget, especially how it relates to them. They also have a choice of medium, be it the Post-Courier or any other form of media.
“The recent global financial events have prompted our people to pay close attention to news and developments. And, the budget is one such event that they all look forward to, especially being covered by a leading daily newspaper,” said Mr Kanekane.
He said, he hoped the budget locked out incident would not spill over to other developments being pursued by the government. And, the Post-Courier is allowed to report freely and share other privilege enjoyed by its counterparts.
“Ultimately, the people suffer as a result of this kind of action. I hope, the protests by the government do not prevent the Post-Courier to react negatively in their pursuit of stories that will boost the development of this country,” said Mr Kanekane.
He also added that there was room to seek redress, especially through the
Mr Joe Kanekane
Media Council of PNG