‘Do not use your privileges to attack the media’

National, Normal

The PNG Media Council has raised concerns about Members of Parliament using parliamentary privileges to attack the media.
PNGMC president Joe Kanekane said the council felt it was an abuse of privileges for an MP to attack the media in Parliament, and to try to force journalists to compromise the investigations being carried out by police into a very serious crime.
“The Jan 12 escape from Bomana by high-profile prisoners had attracted a lot of public interest. The public is following this closely through the media.
“In the course of their investigations, certain information was volunteered to the media by police.
“The media has published some of this information, careful not to make public names that might have been volunteered,” he said.
“It is not the job of the media to name names in the middle of a police investigation. It is wrong for anyone to demand such information publicly.
“It becomes a direct attack on the media when one uses parliamentary  privileges to try to extract this information.
“This attack on the media is unwarranted and must be condemned,” he said.
Mr Kanekane urged MPs to make increasing use of the newly-established Independent Standards Media Committee to deliberate on some of the grievances.
“The council has always called for increased dialogue with the Government, especially freeing up of public information.”