The Independent State of Papua New Guinea is located on the eastern half of the island of New Guinea in the south-western Pacific Ocean.

Portuguese and Spanish explorers encountered the country during the 16th century. From 1884, Germany ruled the northern half of the country as German New Guinea and the United Kingdom ruled the southern half as British New Guinea. Rule of the southern territory was transferred to the Commonwealth of Australia in 1904 with the Papua Act and the area was renamed the Territory of Papua.

German New Guinea was also occupied by Australia during World War I and the country was given a League of Nations Mandate to administer it after the war. The southern half was deemed to be an external territory of the Australian Commonwealth. After World War II, the two territories were combined into the Territory of Papua and New Guinea.

A peaceful independence from Australia took place in 1975 and PNG is now a Commonwealth country with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. The Queen is represented by the Governor-General of PNG who is selected by the executive branch made up of the Prime Minister (currently Peter O’Neill) and his cabinet of 31 Members of Parliament. The National Parliament has 111 seats, with 22 of them taken by governors of the 21 provinces and the National Capital District.

PNG is the world’s sixth fastest-growing economy, according to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2011, with forestry and mining key growth sectors. The majority of the population however is reliant on an economy of subsistence agriculture and fishing.

Media and Communication Landscape

The media industry in PNG is one of the most free and vibrant in the South Pacific. Based on Section 49 of the PNG Constitution of Freedom of Speech, the industry has grown, embracing online and mobile forms of communication. Find out more information in the PACMAS State of Media and Communication Report 2013: Papua New Guinea.

Policy and Legislation
• The National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA ) is an agency of the government which regulates the ICT industry in PNG according to the NICT Act.
• There are three mobile phone companies in PN G, Digicel, B-Mobile and Citi-Fone.
• The PNG Media Council has established the following codes of ethics; a General Code of Ethics for News Media, a Broadcasting Code of Practice, Code of Ethics and Practice for Broadcasting Advertisements, and another document on Advertising to Children. These documents were created with the input of some 56 members of various media organisations.
• Media workers have called for the need to update the current code of ethics to reflect the use of online media.

Media Systems
• Most media technicians are not affiliated with a specific technicians association for support or advice. Technicians receive a large portion of training on-the-job, however graduates may come from Don Bosco Technical Institute or Port Moresby Technical College.
• The Government’s Vision 2050 plan stipulates the establishment of information and communication technologies and early warning systems; PN G is behind on its development of Disaster Risk Reduction.
• Telikom PN G has established receiver stations, in disaster prone areas, with funding from the National Planning Department.
• The Disaster Centre has a National Disasters Management Plan and a mitigation plan that includes various stakeholders (including media).

Capacity Building
• There are three recognised associations: the PNG Media Council, the PNG Media Workers Union and the Communication Arts Professionals Association.
• There is a wide range of high quality media and communications education available in PN G, although no TVET s for journalism or media.
• Retention of trained technicians is a problem for the media sector, due to the attraction of jobs in the mining and petroleum sectors.

Content
• The dissemination and coordination of information about climate change is contested.
• Major television stations (Kundu 2 TV and NBC) produce programs on environmental issues with support from organisations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature.
• In comparison to HIV/AIDS, NCDs do not receive significant support. PNG has the lowest statistics of high risk NCDs in the Pacific.

Any opinions represented in the PACMAS State of Media and Communication Report 2013: Papua New Guinea are those of the authors and research participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government or the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

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