20 Aug 2014

Media bill tabled in Samoa

4:49 pm on 20 August 2014

A bill establishing a media council in Samoa is now before the Parliament after being tabled by the Prime Minister.

The Media Council Bill would make the media body, the Journalism Association of Western Samoa, as the implementing body of the council, which would then act as an independent professional association.

Legislation drafters have moved to abolish the criminal libel laws under the Crimes Act and amend the Printers and Publishers Act to ensure the protection of journalists' sources.

The Media Council will also investigate public complaints and introduce a Code of Practice and Code of Ethics.

A member of JAWS and lecturer at the National University of Samoa, Misa Vicky Lepou, says the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, tabled the bill yesterday, and it's hoped there will be debate on the bill before Parliament ends today.

She says if not, the bill will be debated in the next session.