Good prospects for press freedom
This Melanesian archipelago enjoys press freedom, which is guaranteed by article 12 of the constitution. However, the defamation law continues to intimidate journalists and encourage a degree of self-censorship in the media, while Indonesian diplomatic pressure for an end to any form of support for West Papuan separatism could pose a threat to the public debate. Otherwise, the media fulfil their democratic role thanks to the infrequency of cases of harassment, the existence of a media ombudsman and proposed legislation designed to reinforce government transparency and combat corruption. Because of the low literacy rate, the public broadcaster SIBC plays a vital role in keeping the population informed by radio. And it doesn’t hesitate to criticize the policies of either the government – led by Manasseh Sogavare again since April 2019 – or the opposition.
0 in 2019