22 Jun 2020

Samoa parliament says media are not banned

4:23 pm on 22 June 2020

Samoa's Parliament has answered criticism it received for a lack of media facilities saying it recognises the importance of fair and factual reporting of its proceedings.

Samoa Parliament

Samoa Parliament Photo: RNZ Pacific

The Journalists Association of Samoa recently called for better treatment of reporters and expressed surprise the new parliament building, funded by Australian did not include a press gallery.

Earlier when parliament tabled the budget for the 2019/20, media were given a tent to listen to proceedings without a television for visuals.

However in a statement, Parliament said house rules facilitated media access and reporting of parliamentary debates but also aimed to make sure the Fono Chamber as a working environment for MPs and officials, was maintained and respected.

It said media could enter the chamber for note-taking purposes but were not allowed to take photographs.

Images were offered after the sessions and a live feed was provided through portals outside the fono.

The new Maota Fono was also fully equipped with recording system which provided coverage of proceedings for Radio Broadcast on 2AP and for for the parliament Facebook page.