Samoa Times ceased publication, forced by COVID-19

The newspaper Samoa Times is shutting down after 19 years of serving the Samoan community in New Zealand, Australia as well as the Samoan global diaspora.  

Samoa Multimedia Group Ltd, which manages the newspaper, announced the shutdown of the company recently.

Managing Director Ane Ponifasio said the shutdown is a direct result of the impact of COVID-19 on their business.

The printing and distribution of the newspaper has been on-hold for the past 10 weeks, though the firm continues to maintain their website. 

"While we have been able to provide an online version of the Samoa Times newspaper during lockdown to maintain our readership, having experienced more than two months of no advertising revenue and limited online sales, we are unfortunately in a position where we are unable to resume publication,” Ms Ponifaso said. "We are grateful to our loyal and dedicated staff who have worked with us during these difficult times, the businesses that have advertised with us over the years, and the support we have received from our Samoan community.”

According to the statement, the newspaper was created as part of the media group to compliment Radio Samoa's vision to inform, raise awareness, and connect the vast and growing Samoan community in New Zealand. 

“Samoa Times has provided up to date news from Samoa and the local community, while also encouraging the joy of reading, hearing and speaking the Samoan language. 

"It's sad that our loyal readers will no longer receive such a precious and valuable resource in our Samoan language, and it's a shame to have to do this the very week after we have celebrated Samoa Language Week in New Zealand." 

The closure of the newspaper adds to the challenges that media organisations are facing within the Pacific and globally, especially the impact of the coronavirus leading to the diminishing of advertising revenue, which has made it difficult for newspapers to survive.

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