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Communication and information are essential to all aspects of life. This presentation explored the flows of communication and information in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Do citizens have the means to communicate their views? Do they have access to timely information? Communication and information are crucial to governance and effective democracy. A key component of a functioning democracy is a citizenry that is well informed and actively engaged in debates about government policies. In PNG, the mainstream media has a fragile freedom but does not carry out sufficient in-depth investigations. Urban residents are much more easily able to access the media than those living in rural villages. But what about new technologies – mobile telephones, the internet and social media? The presentation discussed how they form an evolving part of the communication and information landscape in PNG.
Dr Amanda H A Watson is a Research Fellow with the Department of Pacific Affairs, Australian National University. From January 2017 to August 2019, she was part of a small team of ANU academics based in Port Moresby, teaching courses in the University of Papua New Guinea’s School of Business and Public Policy under the ANU-UPNG Partnership. Dr Watson has also taught at Divine Word University, Macquarie University, Queensland University of Technology and TAFE NSW. Her research interests include telecommunications, media, information and communication in the Pacific region.
This presentation is based on the speaker’s chapter in the forthcoming ANU-UPNG edited volume on contemporary issues in PNG.
The ANU-UPNG seminar series is part of the partnership between the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy and the UPNG School of Business and Public Policy, supported by the PNG-Aus Partnership.