Journalist blames starving of PNG province news on EMTV dispute

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Independent journalist Scott Waide
Independent journalist Scott Waide ... public access to information has been cut off in Papua New Guinean provinces. Image: Scott Waide

By Prianka Srinivasan of ABC Pacific Beat

A senior Papua New Guinea journalist says an ongoing dispute between journalists and management at television broadcaster EMTV is starving the country’s provinces of news.

Former Lae regional head of news Scott Waide said the station was failing to provide a proper nationwide news service after its news team had been sacked over a dispute with EMTV’s management.

“What it’s done is effectively cut off public access to information in all the provinces,” he said.

“The media is supposed to be a conduit between government and people that’s not happening anymore.”

EMTV’s news team were sacked in March over the coverage of the controversial Australian hotel businessman Jamie Pang, who was convicted of a number of criminal charges.

Waide said the sacked staff were making moves to win their jobs back in the courts, but in the meantime they had set up alternative coverage online.

“They’ve established, registered a company called Inside PNG. It is already an online news service with a website and social media presence. And they’ll be working towards covering the elections in June,” he said.

Prianka Srinivasan reports for ABC Radio Australia. Republished with permission.

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