Pacific Media Centre Pacific Media Watch Pacific Journalism Review Pacific Scoop

The Post-Courier and media advocacy: A new era for Papua New Guinean journalism?

Volume 13, Issue 1

March, 2007

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Matbob, P. (2007). The Post-Courier and media advocacy: A new era for Papua New Guinean journalism? Pacific Journalism Review, 13(1): 87-104.
Author(s): Patrick Matbob
Publication date: 
April, 2007

The Papua New Guinea media is often described as ‘free’ and ‘vibrant’ compared to other media in developing countries in the region. The style of journalism and the news values are based on the Western model familiar in developed countries, where objectivity is one of the conventions of  journalism practice. This is a result of influence on the PNG media by Western news values through a history of ownership of the local media and training in journalism provided at the workplace and at journalism schools in PNG. However, the coverage of two major national issues by PNG’s national daily Post-Courier has signalled a shift in reportage style in PNG to one of advocacy journalism. The two major issues are the 
National Superannuation Fund of Papua New Guinea (NASFUND) corruption crisis and an anti-gun campaign. Although at present both issues have dropped out of the media, they have yet to reach satisfactory conclusions. The prosecution of people involved in the NASFUND mis-
management is pending while the anti-gun campaign report has been tabled in Parliament, but nothing has been heard about it since. This article examines the role of the Post-Courierand its coverage of the two issues and why it chose to use advocacy style journalism for its coverage. The coverage has drawn criticism from sectors of society and other journalists. The article also examines the views of journalists in Papua New Guinea about the Post-Courier’s coverage and advocacy journalism.