The front page photo – and story – that was quickly corrected by the Papua New Guinea Post Courier. Photo / PNGPC via Pacific Media Watch
Tuesday, 24th February 2015, Rarotonga, Cook Islands – for immediate release :
"Editors and management of the Post Courier showed quick action in correcting the mistake," says PFF co-Chair Monica Miller.
"This is to be commended."
The daily newspaper had published a front page photo purporting to show Asian sex workers in the capital, Port Moresby.
However online readers reverse searched the image and found the same image had been used two years previously in Nigeria. The discovery drew wide condemnation, including in a Facebook group, PNG News, with more than 98,000 members.
The Post Courier published a front page correction, apologising to readers.
The paper claimed that the photo had come from its source for the story on sex workers.
Miller says the incident shows the need for newsrooms “to be alert to photos and other materials provided outside sources.”
While welcoming the quick correction, PFF also highlighted language used in the report referred to sex workers but also describing them as prostitutes.
"This is outdated language that lays judgment on people who are often vulnerable and exploited by powerful interests," says Miller.
Using the term 'sex workers' acknowledges that they are in a paid service and entitled to human rights rights protection, she says.
PFF says the correction is all too rare in Pacific media circles, drawing attention to the need for a formal media complaints process in Papua New Guinea and across the Pacific.
Forum members are working towards the establishment of a Pacific Media Ombudsman, raising the idea in 2013 and welcoming the release of a United Nations-funded survey last year which showed wide support for the idea.
PFF Chair Titi Gabi, who is also General Manager of PNG Loop, a news site competitor, recused herself from this release to avoid any conflicts of interest.
PNG: Website PNG Today accuses Post-Courier over sex worker images
Public Outcry As Newspaper Stun Papua New Guineans Using Old Nigerian Blog Pictures
Pacific Freedom Forum FB page
PNG News FB group
South Pacific Post FB page
PFF Chair Titi Gabi | Freelance Journalist | Papua New Guinea Mail: PO Box 7776, Boroko, NCD, Papua New Guinea | Mob: (675) 7314 3929 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PFF co-Chair Monica Miller | KHJ Radio | American Samoa Mob 684 258-4197 | Office 684 633-7793 | Email: email@example.com
The Pacific Freedom Forum are a regional and global online network of Pacific media colleagues, with the specific intent of raising awareness and advocacy of the right of Pacific people to enjoy freedom of expression and be served by a free and independent media. We believe in the critical and basic link between these freedoms, and the vision of democratic and participatory governance pledged by our leaders in their endorsement of the Pacific Plan and other commitments to good governance. In support of the above, our key focus is monitoring threats to media freedom and bringing issues of concern to the attention of the wider regional and international community.
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