Now this is a more sincere apology.
This is the man I learned my Journalism from, this is the man we (my colleagues and I) all used to know as the Pacific Champion of Freedom of the Press and Expression.
I am so glad that today, he has not failed me and all of my former colleagues who learned from him and idolized his work, his fearless quests to question authority when it was required and bring justice and a voice to the voiceless!
I learned from him and his examples over the years – to be fearless and ruthless in questioning issues when we feel it is not right!
NO MATTER WHO IT WAS.
Some have gone silent over the Jeanine story and chose to be diplomatic about it for fear of the many likely repercussions. And that is fine.
But I, like many others chose to do what He would have done, if He were in my shoes.
He and the paper failed the public interest in a poor call of judgement on Sunday. He failed Jeanine and her family.
But He has not failed journalism and the integrity of media practices and ethics today.
This is the man we used to look up to in the newsroom. We used to talk about him in hushed tones, when he was in his office next door. At that time I was just a rookie. (Still am, compared to the dinosaurs in the industry me thinks).
He taught us the value of leaving behind all bias and be objective.
If I have been harsh and bold in my criticism – it is because he has taught me too well.
This apology and the awareness that something was wrong with what happened, would not have been reached if not for the courage of those who fought for this issue to be seen for what it was…you are all Champions of Jeanine and our LGBTQI communities.
I feel so much more peace for Jeanine and her family now. I feel that so much more positive outcomes will come out of this ordeal – especially the formulation of a governing council to monitor and enforce guidelines and policies for media ethics and practices in Samoa.
Malo le tofa tatala Gatoa’itele Savea Sano Malifa
God bless Samoa