Joint Statement – Freedom of Media in Papua New Guinea
Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of any democratic society.
A free press has the power to transform societies and foster economic growth and build the confidence of investors. We all depend on it.
In Papua New Guinea, journalists have shown their determination and professionalism to play their role in nation building. They have contributed to make democratic institutions stronger and strengthened public engagement. Their critical analysis of politics, the economy, environment, and society bring light to issues affecting all Papua New Guineans.
Concerns over media censorship in Papua New Guinea are growing which may dilute reporting and negatively impact the public’s right to information.
Any loss in media freedom should not be taken lightly, for the rights of journalists and the rights of citizens are inextricably linked.
For a free, diverse and independent media to flourish, any Government should create a conducive atmosphere for journalists to operate freely without fear and favor. Laws and policies that protect independent journalism, freedom of expression and the right to information need to be adopted, implemented and enforced. Plurality of media is also crucial to foster diversity of views and counter misinformation.
The United Nations and the United States stand with journalists and media professionals and condemn any effort to curb media freedom. Together, we call on the Government, civil society and the public to recognize the important work of the media, and to stand up for freedom of expression.