A national survey on press freedom came to the result that the province of Papua has the lowest Press Freedom Index (PFI) in Indonesia for 2019. The PFI was determined based on 20 indicators. Four-hundred-eight specialists from 34 Indonesian provinces participated in the survey. According to the survey, the highest level of press freedom exists in the province of Central Sulawesi with a PFI of 84.84 out of a maximum score of 100. The PFI in the province of Papua raised from 59.3 in 2018 to 66.56 in 2019. However, this score marks the lowest among all 34 provinces in Indonesia.
The low score is based on various observations. Cases of physical restrictions, obstruction and threats against journalists, either by authorities or civil society actors, still pose a common threat to journalists in West Papua. Moreover, journalists in Papua have a lower income in comparison with their colleagues in other parts of Indonesia – many journalists in the Papua province still receive an income which is below the minimum wage. A further factor affecting the low PFI score in Papua is the limited access for foreign journalists to the province.