By Joyetter Luamanu In Nuku’alofa, Tonga
The work of the Samoa Observer, and the Editor, Mata’afa Keni Lesa, to highlight and advocate against corruption has been highlighted at the 5th Pacific Media Summit in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.
Former Australian Member of Parliament, Journalist and Media Trainer, John Hyde, during his presentation spoke of the work of journalists in terms of how to investigate corruption.
The two-day workshop where Editors and Senior Journalists are in attendance focuses on the role of the media in oversight and accountability and following the work of integrity institutions.
Mata'afa was invited to be one of the presenters but he is not able to attend. But Mr. Hyde, who has been to Samoa five times, praised the work of the Samoa Observer in fighting corruption.
He said it is extensive and vital for the development of Samoa.
“Just two weeks ago, Samoa signed up on the U.N. Convention against corruption, it has been really interesting to watch particularly the work that Mata’afa and other media in Samoa will do to keep it going,” said Mr. Hyde.
The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument.
The Convention’s far-reaching approach and the mandatory character of many of its provisions make it a unique tool for developing a comprehensive response to a global problem. The vast majority of United Nations Member States are parties to the Convention.
Samoa signed the Corruption two weeks ago.
Mata’afa, already an award-winning journalist, has worked at the Samoa Observer for 19 years and has been the Editor for 10 years.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Mr Hyde said now the U.N. conventions has been signed by Samoa he’s interested to see Mata’afa and other reporters whether they will keep the issue alive.
“The media should not focus on one specific project in terms of corruption; such as someone in a Department is doing something wrong, but seeing the totality of the issue that if you have got corrupt practices happening in Government, in Churches, in private sectors and in schools, then its an issue for society.
“So having the U.N. convention and having the Government making a commitment to aspire to good practices and best practices around the world including Samoa is a testament of the work of the media including the Samoa Observer.
“It is a strong step and I think it sends a example of fair activist journalism the Samoa Observer is a part of.
“Its not about media making things up, its about media presenting the facts in an honest in your face way.”