Friday, June 01, 2007

JAWS Statement on Radio Journalist Ban

The Journalists Association of [Western] Samoa as an advocate of freedom to information and freedom of the media is taking a firm stance against the recent ban placed on two Radio Journalists in Samoa.
Journalists as carriers of information and informants of the public should have the right to report on any issue that is of public interest, Journalists should also have the freedom to attend Press Conferences without prejudice or discrimination of the host.
By denying Journalists the right to report on issues, the public is being denied the right to know. As Journalists we have a duty to the people of Samoa to inform them of events, issues and happenings on a daily basis.
In saying this we recognise that Journalists should remain unbiased, impartial and accurate in our reports. All Journalists of Samoa should adhere to the JAWS Code of Ethics to ensure fair and just reporting in Samoa.
The recent ban on two Radio Journalists is a direct threat to freedom of the media in Samoa which is one of the founding pillars our democracy. JAWS urges the Media owner involved to review such a decision for the sake of media freedom.
As Samoa celebrates its 45th year of Independence JAWS echoes recent healthy comments made by the Prime Minister Hon. Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi referred to the maturity of our democracy and the media as one of its vital institutions. JAWS agrees that the control of media freedom is an incident of the past.
JAWS will always stand and strive for Freedom of the Media in Samoa and worldwide.