9 Dec 2002

Samoa's opposition criticises lack of access to the media

4:33 am on 9 December 2002

Samoa's opposition leader, Le Mamea Ropati, has criticised government funded media for not allowing the opposition to air its views on government policies and programmes.

The government backed outlets include Radio 2AP, Televise Samoa and the newspaper, Savali.

Le Mamea's comments were prompted by a letter from deputy prime minister, Misa Telefoni, to the Samoa Observer newspaper questioning the opposition's lack of feedback on issues of major national importance.

Le Mamea says the opposition has views on everything the government does but the government media, particularly Televise Samoa, never seeks their views.

He cited as an example the presentation of Misa's budget speech which he said was broadcast in its entirety by Televise Samoa while the opposition was not given a chance to offer a view point.

He said an American TV team and Radio New Zealand asked him for an interview.