Wednesday 22 March 2023

Minister for Information and Communications Technology Hon. Timothy Masiu stressing points on the importance of the draft Media Development Policy during the Parliament sitting. Phot credit: Parliament Media.

Minister for Information and Communications Technology Hon. Timothy Masiu told Parliament this morning, that the draft National Media Development Policy, proposes to strengthen and re- establish the PNG Media Council as an independent arm to represent and maintain standards within the media profession.

Minister Masiu was responding to a Question without Notice in Parliament on the status of the proposed draft media policy, adding the Department of Information and Communications Technology is assessing feedback and comments from stakeholders, following the release of version 1 and 2 of the National Media Development Policy in February.

“The Ministry maintains the view that the PNG Media Council through its self- governing model is not doing enough to grow the profession and hold journalists accountable and through the Ministry’s proposal, the PNG Media Council will be empowered, hold mainstream media outlets accountable and establish protection mechanism for journalists as well,” Minsiter Masiu stressed.

“I want to inform honorable members of this House that we have had a consultation workshop recently and as a result, my department is working on identifying a model where we can find common grounds with all stakeholders.

“This policy is not about regulating but more on building capacity and recognition
within the media profession.”

He added that Department of ICT is reviewing whether to include provisions for oversight on social media platforms and this will be made known when releasing Version 3 of the draft policy.

“A consultation report will be published this week and following this, the consultation itself will lead us to undertake a serious of nationwide survey to better define our media landscape and ascertain data necessary to consolidate issues highlighted in the recent consultation workshop,” he added.

The department is expected to release a version four of the draft policy towards the end of April.

“This version four will be subject to further feedback and I expect to take it to cabinet as early as May and should the legislation be proposed, we would also start drafting process in May.”

Minister Masiu said the review is very important, just like all other reviews undertaken by government under the leadership of Prime Minister Hon. James Marape and Deputy Prime Minsiter Hon. John Rosso.