I write with deep sadness regarding the manner in which your journalist Ilia L. Likou reported “Chanel College students caught fighting on video” on the front page of Samoa Observer dated O2 December 2013.
My main concern is that Ilia was nowhere near the scene when the incidents happen, and thus she absolutely has no knowledge of the facts of the matter. I believe with due respect that news reporter should be at the scene at the time and space when the news happens because readers need to know the truth not an opinion.
The other point to note Sir is that the incidents had happened in the first term. I have already reconciled (ifoga), the matter with the families of both parties.
The matter then is about six feet underneath the ground but now Ilia has rekindled the fire in which she has no idea of its impact on the families of the students who got involved given the matter has been settled. I believe Ilia in this case needs to have some sense of respect and professionalism in her job as a journalist.
Finally Sir, I do advise Ilia not to depend too much on rumours and loading news from the facebook and Internet. I believe she needs mobility; ask questions like professional journalists do in order to report the truth.
In that way I am pretty sure the public will trust that what they read in your papers are the truth.
I humbly ask to have the courtesy to see people who are and will be reported upon in the newspapers because we do have a God given right to speak and tell our side of the story.
Let Ilia knows that all human rights and freedom of expressions have limitations.
And one person’s right ends where another person starts. It is only God who has the absolute right and without a limit.
Fr Mika Tuimavave, sm.
Observer note: The video was emailed to us by a member of the public who expressed genuine concerns about the long history of violence in and between schools. We did attempt to contact the college, without success.
Fortunately, we have talked yesterday with an official from the church school system and are grateful for the opportunity to discuss ways to improve communications between Catholic schools and the media. We accept your concern as genuine, as was our publication in the public interest. Ms. Likou was doing her job, as requested by the editor, with final responsibility resting not in her hands, but that of the editor.