21 Aug 2017

Editor says Samoa PM's comments insulting

5:25 pm on 21 August 2017

The editor of a newspaper in Samoa says comments by the prime minister that local journalists are lazy are insulting.

Samoa's PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi

Samoa's PM Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi Photo: RNZI Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

Over the weekend Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi issued a statement which reportedly said the media was lazy and wanted to be spoon-fed.

The statement followed the announcement the weekly police press briefings would be cancelled by Tuilaepa, who is also police minister, because the media was reporting too many stories about rape and incest and painting Samoa in a negative light.

The Samoa Observer's Mata'afa Keni Lesa said the latest comments were unfair.

Samoa Observer editor Mata'afa Keni Lesa

Photo: RNZI / Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

"We have processes here. Our reporters are at court. We get the stories from the court. We operate just like any other respectful media organisation would," Mata'afa said.

"The thing with police press conferences, here at the Observer we get the information and then we go out and do our own investigation.

"We don't just take the police press conference and run it like some of our colleagues do. So to say that all the reporters in Samoa are lazy, I find it absolutely ridiculous," he said.