What the Jeanine case really exposed

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Dear Editor,

I’ve been following the public outrage and the personal attacks thrown back and forth as a result of the Samoa Observer’s coverage of the Jeanine Tuvaiki case.

The one thing that stood out so glaringly for me from the above case and the ensuing aftermath, was how the media turned on itself to vilify their own.

I don’t know if any other profession would have done this but wow the harshest critics were from the media itself especially the local media, including some unemployed, self-promoting, so-called journalists at that.

Most of these people that aired their views never even wrote anything remotely world changing but the way they responded to this article, you would think they were award-winning journalists. Ua matua iloa ai lava le tou va’ava’a. E iloa ai se tou popoto po’o se tou totoa, ae ua na’o le aliali ai o le tou vaivai.

And special mention goes to the N.U.S Journalism lecturer who was oh so vocal and made that journalism program out to be something that it is not. The reality is, apart from a few bright sparks who have come out of that programme, the rest are just hopeless. You just have to listen to them on radio and TV, and read what they write. It’s pathetic.

And you have the nerve to say that what the Observer has done has derailed your efforts to raise the standard. What standard? You should stop and listen to yourself. Even your students’ grammar leaves a lot to be desired. And that’s just the basics.

What this case has done is expose the pettiness and jealousy within the media industry.

Your industry is so divided and so fe’aina’i. So how do you expect people to take you seriously when at the first hint of trouble within your own industry, you all turn on each other and become overnight experts on media ethics, when you yourselves have breached so many of these over the years? Hypocrites.

The difference is that when you do it, nobody cares because let’s face it, nobody really reads or watches any of your stuff and takes it seriously.

The Samoa Observer should take heart at the people’s reaction because it obviously means that people expect so much more from the paper as they are used to a certain standard of journalism, a standard that no one expects from the other media outlets.

As for what’s coming out of the Government Press Secretariat, aren’t they intelligent? That woman there deserves far more money than she is being paid by Tuilaepa. Hopefully it will help her see things clearly. Ua matua ova le papa’u o le tōfā ma le fa’autautaga.

The P.S.C should also really deal with all these ACEOs and senior level public servants who seem to be on social media 24/7. And the language used, wow. No manners, no respect.

Yes, you may be posting as an individual, but you also do hold a public position, paid for by all taxpayers, and that should make you mindful of the mindless, verbal diarrhea you let out online. And some are just downright abusive. Again that word that everyone seems to be an expert on nowadays – Ethics.

My last advice to all you media people, especially the very vocal ones who seem to have an opinion on social media about everything under the sun, look in the mirror the next time you accuse others of breaching ethics. The same word that most of you are trampling on in your bid to get to where you are now. Ask yourself. Please examine yourself and then be honest not with us, but with yourself.

The only sensible take from the media on this debacle was from Newsline. 

But that’s not surprising given that that paper, just like the Observer, has kept on going despite all the obstacles that it has faced over the years. 

And I know both will continue on, even long after some of these so-called journalists’ short-lived wannabe media careers. 

Tiana N.

Tufu, Savai’i   


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