Complaint against Talaia Mika and Samoa Observer

Afioga e, I wish to express my deep concern and disappointment regarding an article published in the Samoa Observer on 27 July 2023, titled "Tuala declares conflict of interest in R.S.A. saga" by Talaia Mika. 

The article claimed that the reporter conducted an interview with me when no such interview ever took place. I believe the integrity and credibility of the Samoa Observer or any media lies in its commitment to providing readers with truthful information supported by reliable sources and verified facts. Unfortunately, the article in question has misrepresented the truth by attributing false and inaccurate statements to me and what I had said in an interview that never happened.

I have never been approached or interviewed by Talaia Mika on the subject matter of the aforementioned article. The publication of a purported interview that never occurred has caused an array of other media outlets to make reference to this particular article written by Talaia Mika, exemplifying my involvement. 

Furthermore, I have made it quite clear to Samoa Observer that I have distanced myself because of a conflict of interest I have declared in this matter and specifically told your newspaper and every other media who have approached me that I do not want to comment on this issue.

The reporter's action to publish an article, having clear knowledge there was never an interview or attempts to interview me, is a fundamental error that undermines the credibility of both the reporter and the newspaper with a wider impact on me as a Member of Parliament.

In light of this situation, I kindly request that you make an immediate public correction and retraction of the article in question, both in print and online, with an acknowledgement of the specifics of the error made.

Publish an apology from the Samoa Observer, addressing the article's inaccuracies and impact.

Examine the editorial process that led to the publication of this erroneous article so you can improve on fact-checking and verifying information from your reporters.

I feel it is important that I bring to your attention this serious issue of poor and cheap reporting relying on hearsay and lack of research to get the story and receive payment for it.

I look forward to your prompt response. Should you require any further information or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Tuala Tevaga losefo Ponifasio Deputy Prime Minister of Samoa

• Editor's Note: The Samoa Observer Management unreservedly apologises to the Deputy Prime Minister, Tuala Tevaga Iosefo Ponifasio for the incorrect reporting pertaining to the above-mentioned story and unreservedly withdraws all imputations wrongly made and expresses regret at the error by our reporter concerned. Disciplinary action will be taken against the reporter concerned for the dereliction of duty as a Samoa Observer reporter. 

Samoa Observer

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