Australia’s support for media to continue, says counsellor

National, Normal

The National – Monday, December 6, 2010

THE Australian government will continue to assist the media industry in Papua New Guinea, AusAID counsellor for governance Catherine Gill said in Port Moresby last Thursday.
While speaking to journalists at the media awards night, Gill said the Australian government recognised the important role media played in development and would continue with its assistance programme.
“Australia is pleased to support this celebration of achievements of journalists and those behind the scene in the PNG media industry,” she said.
“Australia is very proud to support the development of the PNG media.
“We support the media because it is important to bring public debate to citizens, to expand discussions to a bigger audience and to disseminate news on the performance of leaders in politics, community and businesses.”
Gill said since 2004, AusAID, through the media development initiative, had supported an open and democratic media in PNG.
She said AusAID had been working closely with the Media Council of PNG, providing a A$500,000 funding to the council this year to advance its work in the areas of advocacy, research and analysis and learning and development.
She said compared to many developing nations around the world, PNG was fortunate to have such a robust, free and diverse media industry.
Gill said the dedication, commitment, talent and energy journalists put to work everyday to produce the contents of reports for the public to consume was testimony of the important role the media played in PNG’s development.
The Australian government had been a consistent supporter of the media industry in Papua New Guinea over the years, providing funding and other support through its many programmes provided under its aid agency, AusAID.