Samoa media is failing Parker

By Seti Afoa ,

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Lupesoliai Joseph Parker knocks down Russia's Alexander Dimitrenko.

Lupesoliai Joseph Parker knocks down Russia's Alexander Dimitrenko. (Photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz)

Samoa media is failing Joseph Parker. 

Particularly Samoa media in New Zealand, and Pacific Island media in total are failing one of their own.

There is en-masse no-show and non-attendance of Parker fights by Samoa media in New Zealand.

There was none there, other than myself, or Pacific Island media at the Vodafone venue in Manukau on Saturday night.

Trainer Kevin Barry and Lupesoliai Joseph Parker

Trainer Kevin Barry and Lupesoliai Joseph Parker

At the same time, nationwide mainstream media and global media are chasing the biggest reality show, Joseph Parker’s Road to the Title, happening in New Zealand right now. 

That reality show has just gone global with Parker’s demolition of Alexander Dimitrenko last night. Parker’s excitement factor has just pushed to another level, if not two more levels beyond where he was last week.

The emphatic victory against the tall Russian was brutal. It was seen across the world in 53 countries. Yet, not one PI media, let alone Samoa media in New Zealand saw this as worthy of personal attendance at the venues. 

It is not only this fight, it is all other Joseph Parker fights that have taken place in New Zealand this year including the Carlos Takam fight (May, Auckland) and Solomon Haumono (July, Christhchurch).

Sure, there will be a lot of coverage of last night’s big victory by Samoa media in New Zealand and in Samoa but from television vision and sound, mainstream newspaper stories and other second tier sources. There was no accredited Samoa media in attendance.

To be fair, Niu FM had a representative at the Press Conference on Thursday at Burger King, Epsom. But tonight of all nights, there was none sitting at the Media table ringside with me. 

Trainer Kevin Barry and Lupesoliai Joseph Parker
Trainer Kevin Barry and Lupesoliai Joseph Parker

Joseph Parker aside, there were three other Samoans on show last night. Dave Letele aka Brown Butterbean fought Clarence Tillman; Samoa’s own Alapati A’asa was on show against Tongan Junior Fa; and Joseph’s younger brother, John Parker was making his heavyweight professional debut. 

They are totally being ignored by Samoa Media in New Zealand. 

Or at least not being shown the respect they deserve for the contribution these Samoans are making in our community, and in the New Zealand community at large. We should be proud of them, and Samoa media should be at the forefront of telling their stories from the source.

I do not count. I am media by default. My contribution is purely on passion for stories involving incredible Samoans in Boxing and in Rugby, where again, Samoans are the multitude, and are the superstars.

I disseminate those stories to various outlets free of charge. There is my weekly freelance contract to Samoa Times in Auckland. Other than that, all my content – photography, videos, Social media - is out there for the pure love of telling stories. 

I reckon a lot of media training happens in those Media scrums after the game. And if I had my own time again, I would attend media school, learn to write properly and be a right proper media person. 

To this point, Duco Events think I am a trained journo, and similarly the All Blacks have afforded me right of place in its media circle, as a journalist. I am not, and I would love to be a fulltime, paid, journalist. Then, I can cover more and tell more stories of amazing Samoans in other sport and in many other areas of life. 

For accredited media, we get juicy bits straight from the horses’ mouths at Press time. It is not the fight itself, or the rugby match that we watch where the stories are found. We can all see that on television. But the act of being genuine media is being available to the sources of the stories.

Samoans on show last night at Vodafone Stadium in Manukau are performing at the top of the sport in New Zealand.

They are big stories - Brown Butterbean is changing his life and other people’s lives with his crusade of fitness – well recognised by mainstream media; John Parker is coming out of the shadows of his older brother to fight his way through the heavyweight division; and, there was a Samoan boxer, Alapati A’asa, from Samoa, who fought in the main undercard.

And no Samoa media was there to talk to him about his story. 

By the way, Alapati fought a great fight. He was called up late to take on the much taller Fa. He fought a great fight and gave a good account of himself in the cauldron at Manukau. 

You can catch my interview with Alapati on Samoa Events Facebook page at the Weigh In. There is also my Samoan interview with Joseph Parker there as well – which has become my specialty method of telling Joseph Parker’s story and progress to the Title. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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