22 Aug 2017

Samoa media head says there are positives to end of police briefings

6:05 am on 22 August 2017

The head of the Journalists Association of Samoa, or JAWS, says the end of weekly police press briefings could be a good thing.

Last week, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi, who is also the police minister, stopped such briefings because he says the media was reporting too many stories about rape and incest and painting Samoa in a negative light.

He also said the media was lazy and wanted to be spoon-fed.

no caption

Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

The editor of the Samoa Observer newspaper said the comments were insulting and the cancellation of briefings would impact on the ability of the public to find out news.

But JAWS president Apulu Lance Polu said the comments were not directed at all the media.

Apulu also said police are trying to tidy up their dissemination of information and are looking at creating an official media policy.

"I think it will be good for all. Good for the media, good for the police and good for the public as well."

"The police should establish a firm media policy and then perhaps liase with the media itself, getting some legal advice so that these things would not criss-cross over the legal implications when the cases actually go before the court," he said.