Due to the misleading news aired by Samoa TV1 on Tuesday night (28th August 2018) regarding the sudden passing away of Marama Sainimere Vesikula who was a beloved member of our family, I am compelled in my capacity as the legal guardian of Marama in Samoa to provide this brief to set the record straight.
It is important for the media and all concerned that there is no conclusive evidence so far to suggest that Marama’s passing away was caused by the medication she took for Filariasis.
It is also important for all concerned that our family had raised the same issue with the Ministry of Health, and we trust that the Management and medical staff of the National Hospital are following due processes for cases of such nature.
While we appreciate the role of the media when it comes to matters of public importance, we also expect the media to make every effort to provide fair and factual reporting.
The details of Marama’s passing away aired by TV1 news on Tuesday evening are grossly misleading and far from the truth. None of the sources used by TV1 were present at our home when Marama fell sick, neither at the hospital when she was admitted. The information used in TV1 news item is therefore a serious misrepresentation of the truth and hence a breach of journalism ethics.
As a result of TV1 news item, Marama’s photo is now spread virally on the social media before our families attend to her proper burial. To compound matters, the Ministry of Health and Government of Samoa are unjustly implicated in this news item and thus drawing venom from the members of the uniformed public in Samoa and abroad on social media unfairly.
The most painful effect of TV1 irresponsible reporting is borne by our family and in particular our innocent children who are struggling emotionally with Marama’s sudden passing away. Our family is now a random target of some malicious comments from some uninitiated members of the public on social media for no good reason.
The untimely passing away of Marama has shattered our family into pieces. And to add the pain of unfair criticisms from unfamiliar members of the public on social media due to irresponsible reporting is crucifying pain indeed.
We appreciate TV1 Management’s effort to retract its story on Marama Sainimere Vesikula aired on Tuesday 28th August 2018 and a public apology. Ma le fa’aaloalo.
Mata’afa Dr. Desmond U. Amosa