28 Feb 2012

Samoa govt should remove Acts threatening press freedom, says newspaper editor

10:19 am on 28 February 2012

The editor of the Samoa Observer says it would be impossible for the media to operate should a media council be created while other restrictive legislation exists.

All media organisations, except for the Samoa Observer, agreed to set up a media council, but recommended the body be self regulated without any involvement by the government or other politicians

The Law Reform Commission revealed last week that a contentious criminal libel act will be removed from law in March.

But the editor of the Samoa Observer, Mataafa Keni Lesa, wants it to also remove the Publishers and Printers Act, which threatens press freedom.

"Unless the government is willing to get rid of those, then we can have a media council because at the moment if you have those two acts in place and then a media council on top of those acts, it's just impossible for the media to do its work."

Mataafa says he believes other media organisations are simply resigned to the fact that the government will create a media council with or without their support.