The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (M.C.I.T) has denied reports that the Tautua Samoa Party had been refused access to Radio 2AP. The denial is made in a statement issued to the media. The statement is published in full below:
In light of recent media reports that Radio 2AP had refused Tautua Samoa access to its radio broadcast, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology would like to clarify that Tautua Samoa has 100per cent access to Radio 2AP broadcast.
In the lead up to General Elections, Tautua Samoa had requested (and were granted) a one-hour, live, weekly on-air programme with Radio 2AP - a division of M.C.I.T.
The usual procedures and ethical broadcast standards pertaining to live on-air radio programming have been explained to the Leader of the Tautua Samoa party and party members, every time they have conducted their on-air program.
A total of six live programmes aired between 13th January and 24th February 2016. The programmes run every Wednesday at 10am and to date, have been rebroadcast an additional twelve times. A final live on-air broadcast, and eventual rebroadcast, was scheduled for 2nd March 2016.
The Ministry of Communications, as the governing body of Radio 2AP, wishes to inform the public that Radio 2AP has not restricted access for the Tautua Samoa opposition party and were never denied access to run their regular, live programme, as was reported by Newsline on 19th February 2016.
To clarify any incorrect reports, we humbly outline below the sequence of events that may have caused the misinformed media reports.
For the live programme conducted on Wednesday 17th February, at 10am and replayed at 9pm on the same day, only the party leader Palusalue Faapo II and election candidate Vaai Papu attended.
The Party Leader spent close to an hour elaborating on their party’s manifesto for the upcoming elections, with the 2AP programme host putting questions to him on several occasions, to clarify issues of importance. Ample time was also spent by the Party Leader in promoting their session in Savaii which was scheduled for the following day.
Just a little over an hour in to the program, election candidate and party member Vaai Papu wanted to speak on-air. Despite the fact that Vaai had used inappropriate language while on-air on another local radio station, the Radio 2AP host allowed him time to address his constituency and comment on some party issues.
However, 2AP Radio management were conscious and mindful of a possible repeat of the same inappropriate behaviour, thus steps - such as on-the-spot editing and prior warning against use of inappropriate language - were taken to ensure the Government radio station, which is broadcast in to the homes of many families across Samoa, would not go against broadcasting standards and air any offensive and inappropriate commentary.
As “The voice of the nation”, Radio 2AP takes great care with their programme content and in broadcasting responsibly to everyone in Samoa.