We at LNG Watch are not so naive as to believe that the media can engage in balanced reporting, when they are so dependent on the patronage of large companies and the political elite for revenue and insider access. However, of late the Post-Courier has excelled itself by publishing as news, what are in fact press releases from ExxonMobil.
Pasted below are the offending articles and the corresponding ExxonMobil press releases.
EXAMPLE 1 - ESSO GIVES TO CHARITY
The Press Release
TITLE: ESSO gives to charity
SECTION: SOUTHERN POST; Pg. 22
Date: July 1, 2011.
PORT Moresby City mission is well-known for the support it gives to the troubled youths throughout the city but it was their turn to be on the receiving end.
The PNG LNG operator, Esso Highlands Limited (EHL) last Tuesday donated about K165,000 for the refurbishment of City Mission's headquarters in Koki. This is to support the valuable contribution that the organisation is making to the lives of many young men in Port Moresby.
The headquarters in Koki house 85 young men but the facility has a bed capacity of only 40. Some of them sleep on mattresses on the floor while others rotate their beds so that everyone has a space.
The funding will improve the dormitories, ablution blocks, lighting and roofing to provide comfortable accommodation. The City Mission began in 1993 with the objective of providing physical, emotional and spiritual support to the young men.
EXAMPLE 2 - ESSO HIGHLANDS CONTINUES TO SUPPORT LNG VILLAGES
The Press Release
TITLE: LNG operator helps villages
SECTION: HOME NEWS; Pg. 15
DATE: 1 July, 2011
ESSO Highlands Limited (EHL), the operator of PNG LNG project, continues to support the community projects in the villages around of the LNG plant sites.
The villages including Lealea, Papa and Boera in Central Province have their community projects funded while Porebada will be the next as discussions with the operator are underway.
The projects that are being funded include replacing of the foot bridge at Lealea which links two parts of the village, allowing villagers to cross the wide river instead of paddling across, EHL will provide the materials for the bridge while Lealea community will provide labour.
The other project is the provision of housing for three health workers at Papa, a project to support the Salvation Army which runs a Papa Clinic and all of the LNG plant site villages who use the clinic. The Papa Clinic serves as a referral centre for all health centres in the area, therefore, the housing will support the recent PNG Government's initiative to upgrade and expand the clinic.
The project at Boera is the refurbishment of Boera Clinic, enabling it to deliver health services to the community. The project will involve the construction of a new house for the health worker who works at the clinic and currently living at the clinic.
Lift your game Post-Courier, give LNG WATCH a call we would be happy to take you to meet the real people being affected by the LNG project, and the real concerns they have about this juggernaut project that will profoundly and irreparably change their life!