Report – By Pacific Media Watch in Port Moresby
The winner of a Papua New Guinea media anti-corruption award says online media has the potential to inform and mobilise people in his country, reports Radio Australia.
Blogger Martyn Namorong won the overall prize at the 2012 Excellence in Anti-Corruption Reporting Media Awards late last year in PNG.
Namorong said in an interview with Radio Australia that because social media in Papua New Guinea was quite new, there was still a lack of understanding about how it could be influential.
“Those of us who are willing to speak out, particularly online… have the spotlight on them such that people react more quickly,” he said.
He visited Australia on a two-week study tour to meet with investigative journalists and community groups involved in fighting corruption.
Namorong, who publishes Namarong Report, won the media award for an investigative series into the hearings of the Commission of Inquiry into Agriculture Business Leases in the East Sepiik Province of PNG.
He told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat programme that no mainstream media was covering the inquiry.
“I was the only person reporting on the investigation,” Namarong said.
“What I saw was just typical of what’s happened everywhere, where agriculture were pretty much just taken in order for companies not to follow what would be normal forestry regulations.”
The United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, David McLachlan-Karr, told local media after the awards that Namarong demonstrated excellent investigative journalism and research skills in his reports.
“Martyn provided three compelling reports that put the reader at the heart of the story,” McLachlan-Karr said.
“He revealed corrupt practice at the community level, and raised awareness of the impacts of corruption over an extended period of time.”
The Excellence in Anti-Corruption Reporting Media Awards encourage individual journalists in PNG to report, expose and combat corruption.