Papua New Guinea’s Communication Minister Timothy Masiu says he is open to criticism regarding the government’s proposed new media policy.

The proposed media policy, which has been heavily criticised, is now in its fifth draft.

It aims to promote, uphold and support principles of freedom of expression and information in PNG through the development of public and private media including media training and capacity building and supporting mechanisms of self-regulation.

But organisation such as Transparency International PNG, Media Council of PNG, the Pacific Freedom Forum and the UN Resident Coordinator, among others have for the policy to be dropped.

Speaking at the Pacific International Media conference in Fiji last week, Masiu told RNZ Pacific the government has received huge feedback.

“It’s good to get critiques. That’s what makes us strong and that’s what makes us want to move forward, the critics are good for us,” he said.

“We don’t want to be just sailing the smooth seas so that we can we can realign our thinking and how we make sure that the policy it’s accepted widely accepted from our people.”

Responding to concerns about media output “editfying”, he said the government wants to ensure the media knew its roles and responsibilities.

“There are so many people who are not graduated, people who have not gone to media or journalism schools who are writing, then these people are accepted by media companies to come in and do some work for them.

“But the code of ethics is not there. They don’t really understand what the media person or as journalists will be writing about.”

The communications minister said the government wants to use “edifying” as an avenue to correct media practitioners.

“If they are good enough to write, we send them to school, give them funding support, so that they can go and attend the journalism schools, or their people can look after them in terms of providing the training program for them.”

He said he was not sure if the parliamentarians understood the role of the media.

“I’m not really sure about that. I think people just see the news and they just, they just talk about the media.”

But media is more than that, he added.

“It’s an industry on its own, it’s a pillar on its own. You have the freedom of media, and that’s what we want to protect in Papua New Guinea. I will say that not all MPs understand what media is,” he said.