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Online media important to PNG says corruption fighter


On AirTHE WINNER OF A MEDIA anti-corruption award says online media has the potential to inform and mobilise the people of Papua New Guinea.

Blogger Martyn Namorong won the overall prize at the 2012 Excellence in Anti-Corruption Reporting Media Awards in PNG.

Mr Namorong says that because social media in PNG is quite new, there's 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 is in Australia on a two-week study tour to meet with investigative journalists and community groups involved in fighting corruption.


Mr Namorong 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 program that no mainstream media was covering the inquiry.

"I was the only person reporting on the investigation," Mr 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."

United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, David McLachlan-Karr, told local media after the awards that Mr 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," Mr 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.

Martyn Namorong will be in Sydney next week. If you would like to meet him, email Ben Jackson here


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Jerilee Diaram

Martyn Namorong is doing a fine job out there. He is educational and knowledgeable and is exposing Papua New Guinea to a wider world.

Sharing of knowledge is a good thing to do. By doing such, you are not only educating and informing others but you are also learning and getting information from the feedback.

Martyn is sharing and informing others of what he knows as a journalist and what he has learnt and experienced of online media.

So I am taking the time to thank Martyn for a wonderful job.

Beatrice Yokondo

Martyn Namorong is doing a very fine job. More media reporters like him are needed. People who will stop at nothing to be heard.

He has shed light on this growing issue of corruption in the country that many other reporters are maybe afraid to look further into.

Keep up the good work, Martyn.

Neil Yamelu

I think Martyn Namorong is doing a fine job out there, and thats what other media reporters should see and follow. Thanks Martyn, keep up the good work.

Bernard Yegiora

Martyn is doing a fine job.

We need more Martyn Namorongs in PNG.

Michael Dom

Martyn continues his good work. Righteous.

Martyn, if you don't already have it, a good book to download is 'Food and Agriculture in PNG. It's free from the ANU Press.

The first chapter 'Twenty myths about Papua New Guinea agriculture' provides some confronting arguments.

It may be that agriculture as the 'saviour' of PNG's rural community is overrated. That argument was the SABL lulluby.

That doesn't mean agriculture is not a serious contributor, but the agenda are not being addressed properly.

I'll be honest, if the entire agriculture support sector dropped dead tomorrow, village farmers would still be selling produce at local markets.

Coffee would still get to market and livestock products would still be available for daily consumption or sale.

The 'agricultural development agenda' are not a mystery. Even the government plans are pretty good and I hate to say it but the NADP was generally a good idea.

(What went wrong? 'Search me O Lord', I'd like to say what I think, but I might not be let back in to the country.)

How about this idea instead 'urban settlements and increased small business and employment are the pull factor for growing markets where local farmers sell produce'.

The questions then are what sort of local industry is available/appropriate, how do we encourage small business developments around this and what investment and credit access is needed to encourage natural growth of business and employment?

Ask an economist, or Julia. Me, I'm just an assistant pig keeper.

More power to you Martyn!

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