Newspapers in Papua New Guinea

The first newspaper, the weekly Papuan Times, published 1911-15, was succeeded by the weekly Papuan Courier in 1916. In 1942 the Courier was closed down by the Australian military authorities. The weekly Rabaul Times was published from 1925 until the Japanese occupation of Rabaul in 1942. These English-language newspapers tended to reflect the interests and beliefs of the racists of Australian planters and traders. Before World War II several missions produced newsheets and the Administration funded a simple English publication for the few literate Papuans. From the mid-1950s until the late 1960s the Australian-based company, Herald and Weekly Times, published the South Pacific Post and New Guinea Times Courier. In 1959 these papers were merged to form the daily Papua New Guinea Post Courier which was still being published in 1993. Another English-language daily, Niugini Nius, was published from 1979 to 1990. In 1970 Word Publishing, a company owned by the PNG Catholic church, established a Tok Pisin weekly, Wantok, and in 1980 an influential English-language weekly, the Times of Papua New Guinea. Apart from Wantok, attempts to establish Tok Pisin newspapers have been mostly unsuccessful.

There is no political censorship of the press and the quality of reporting, comment and analysis is, mostly, high. However, as two-thirds of the population cannot read, newspapers reach only the educated elite. In November 1993 Prime Minister Wingti announced the publication of The National, a new English-language newspaper.

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