Investigative journalism in Papua New Guinea: Are journalists doing enough?

Media plays an important role in our society. Among others, the role of the media or journalists is to hold those in power accountable. According to UNESCO, investigative journalism is the unveiling of matters that are concealed either deliberately by someone in a position of power, or accidentally, behind a chaotic mass of facts and circumstances – and the analysis and exposureMedia Freedom Day of all relevant facts to the public (UNESCO, n.d.). In this way, investigative journalism contributes to freedom of expression and media development.

Peter Aitsi, chairman of Transparency International Papua New Guinea (PNG) summed up the work of the media with the famous phrases: ‘to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable’ and ‘the voice of the voiceless’. Media, especially the mainstream media should, in every way possible, uphold its role. Aitsi also stressed on the importance of the media as the ‘fourth estate’ – the role of the media as an independent and an impartial voice on public matters and public issues. The role of the media as the ‘fourth estate’ should keep the other three arm of the government – legislative, executive and judiciary, in check.

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