The Police Commissioner has come out to stress that media personnel must be respected and protected at all times for the work they do as the mouthpiece for the public, by keeping everyone informed and up to date with the latest developments and happenings in the country.
Police Commissioner David Manning said this in relation to the safety of journalist in hostile situation and is set to discuss this matter further with the Media Council of Papua New Guinea (MCPNG).
This all comes on the aftermath of an incident at Moitaka in the National Capital District (NCD), where a National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) cameraman was grazed by a stray bullet that struck a journalist in the arm.
“The situation is not acceptable and occurred after criminal elements fired weapons wildly and police proceeded to bring the situation under control.
Manning advised that the NBC journalist has received care and wished her a full and rapid recovery.
“Investigations are ongoing as to what occurred, and I will release details when they come to hand.
He continues that it is an unfortunate reality of the environment in which Police operate after decades of neglect to matters of internal security services.
“We are making changes to return the balance in the favor of law-abiding people.”
Commissioner Manning welcomed the suggestion by the Media Council to engage with the RPNGC to come up with safety measure for journalists.
“No person is bulletproof, so we don’t want to see journalists placing themselves or the lives of the public or police at unnecessary risk during security operations.
“We cannot allow those who are central to our democratic process and the enforcement of public order to be at risk while covering news stories or intimidated and threatened because of the news they publish.”
The Commissioner of Police is looking forward to meeting with MCPNG representatives to forge a better way forward in protecting the media fraternity in the country.