Tourism Arts and Culture Minister Emil Tammur has called for the media in Papua New Guinea to report more on positive stories, a press release issued today (Monday, May 14) states.
Minister Tammur said the nation is at a critical stage of its development and constant negative publications of news stories by the PNG media is unhelpful for progress and development.
“We in the tourism sector continue to suffer from a negative image perception internationally and unfortunately much of the negative publicity is driven internally by our PNG media,” he said.
Minister Tammur said the PNG media seems to have found a niche in promoting negativity on the front pages of newspapers and lead stories on television stations without understanding their impact on the international stage.
He said stories of rape, murder, tribal fights and armed robberies need to be told but not with the same prominence every day.
He said in overseas countries, such negative stories rarely make the front pages in newspapers or the lead story on television and radio.
“PNG is constantly faced with the challenge of been tagged a high risk country to travel by international travellers because what our local media is feeding them,” he said.
“When they read such stories, the tourists think the tribal fights and killings are all over PNG when it is actually in one isolated province or district.”
Minister Tammur said media houses must now take responsibility and focus on driving a positive news agenda to stimulate growth and investment for our country, not only in tourism but in all sectors of the economy.
“While the media is all about pronouncing the truth, they also owe it to the people of this nation to be responsible in their reporting because as a country we have a lot of beautiful things to offer to the world,” he said.
Minister Tammur said with PNG already engaged in hosting APEC meetings, we should all be resonating the positiveness of what makes us a proud people in the Pacific and the wider global community.
He said the next Senior Officials Meeting at the end of this month will be the Tourism Ministers’ Meeting from the 21 APEC Economies and his Ministry together with the Tourism Promotion Authority was in advanced stages of preparations in hosting this all important meeting.
“We are promoting the best Papua New Guinea can offer the rest of the world as a desired tourism destination and the last thing we want is the APEC economies being worried about all the negatives been reported in the media,” he concluded.