March 7, 2023- Pacific Article 19 watchdog, the Pacific Freedom Forum, has expressed grave concerns on a proposed new media policy by the Papua New Guinea Government, saying it will limit journalists’ ability to report freely and impact on the quality of public information.

The PFF online network has three subregional chairs, with the current Chair, Robert Iroga of the Solomon Islands saying he has ‘grave concerns that the public right to know will be affected by restrictions and regulations of the media Industry.’

“Colleagues in the Pacific and globally are observing the developments in New Guinea with great interest. We join the many voices in opposing the policy as it is a red flag in democracies like PNG where the role of the independent media is important for keeping island communities informed.”

He added PFF support to those of colleagues in country, including the Media Council of Papua New Guinea.

“The intention of the policy is to introduce a council which effectively acts as a regulatory agency with licensing authority over journalists- this has rightly spread alarm bells throughout the Pacific, and we call on the government to heed the voices of PNG media workers and seek to understand the outpouring of support against their proposal.”

“The media and elected leaders serve the same people–our communities of the Pacific. We encourage Prime Minister Marape and his cabinet to meet directly with media leaders and mediate a solution which allows all views to be heard, so that the interest of the public is upheld,” said Iroga.

“We oppose any efforts to undermine democracies by using the law to curtail the freedom of journalists to report freely in any democracy. Efforts such as those aiming to regulate or license journalists, must never replace our professional ethics and the freedom to report without fear or favour,” he added.


Robert Iroga / PFF Chair -Melanesia / SOLOMON ISLANDS

Founder/Publisher, Solomon Business Magazine

Katalina Tohi / PFF Co-Chair -Polynesia/ TONGA PH:+6767714826

Leilani Reklai /PFF PFF Co-Chair – Palau

Island Times , Publisher and Editor PH: +6807751004

Bernadette H. Carreon/ PFF Coordinator / Pacific

Investigative Reporter-Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project PH: +6807794304


The Pacific Freedom Forum is a network of journalists and media practitioners who believe free speech, truth in journalism, and access of citizens to information is a key part of strong Pacific futures.

We act to ensure Pacific citizens are informed and engaged on the issues affecting their lives, through a regional Article 19 alerts and advocacy network with working journalists and media practitioners at its core. We are part of the global International Freedom of Expression network, IFEX, and work directly with Pacific media colleagues who strongly believe in the right of Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free and independent media.

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