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Media Freedom, Accountability and Online Misinformation in Papua New Guinea
The Papua New Guinea (PNG) government has a new draft National Media Development Policy (Government of PNG 2023) aimed at utilising the media for development purposes. Priority issues include strengthening accountability in journalistic reporting and enhancing civic awareness about misinformation on social media. The media community has condemned the draft policy as an attempt by government to control media freedom in PNG. The arguments on both sides tend to revolve around the role of the Media Council of Papua New Guinea (MCPNG) in holding journalism accountable. Increasing levels of misinformation in social media are also important to discussions around the new draft policy. This In Brief highlights some of the issues raised by the policy, focusing on issues of accountability and the impact of misinformation, especially online misinformation, on citizens.