Street Talk: World Press Freedom Day

By Anetone Sagaga 02 May 2024, 7:00PM

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, Samoa Observer photojournalist Anetone Sagaga spoke to members of the public on what they think freedom of the press means and if journalists can report freely.

Damien , 30 , Fusi Safotu Lafai

"No i don't think there is any protection of media people out there. Because people don't like the truth because it hurts their feelings, lying is comfortable to people, more even don't understand. So I don't think there is any freedom of the press and many people don't actually stand up for what is right, and I think people like you need to be protected"

Victoria Stowers, 39 , Leauva’a

"I am not aware of what the media stands for but I do know that the job they do is not easy. So there isn't much protection because they are being exposed online through fake pages and all. Many of them have been called names and even threatened by the online community. There should be a law that actually charges people who hide behind fake pages and make up lies about journalists or whatever you call them."

Fuiavalili Fuiavalili, 55 , Apia

"I don't know if there is any freedom of press in Samoa but I do know the media tends to twist the truth, changing the narrative and causing chaos in the country. In my opinion, they should be protected because they also do a difficult job in finding the truth."

Vaimaa Leaiataua Letane, 40, Fasitoo Tai

"No there isn't any freedom with the Samoan press. I know this because there are quite a lot of people out there who hate the job they(media) do. Many don't understand that without the press, the public wouldn't know what happens inside the government and what happens in our everyday lives. It's not an easy job they do and they also need to be protected because they are being exposed and attacked on social media. They need to be protected."

Ata Fereti, 50 , Aleisa.

"No there isn't any freedom in the work of media people. Their job isn't easy and I know they go through quite a lot with reporting everything that happens in our daily lives and informing the public on what happens here and there. I've been seeing online that many of them have been attacked and there is no protection in that. So no there is no freedom for the media."

Lilomaiava Maina Vai, 47, Fasitoo Uta

''There is freedom for writers and any media person, as a journalist myself there is freedom in reporting and the same should apply for all people of the press. There are laws that have been laid out to protect and guide the press in reporting the truth, these regulations act as an umbrella of protection. There are proper ways that have been allocated to guide the media so they can be transparent in reporting the truth without fear or favour."

Ake Ailini (35) Utualii-Tai

"I don't think there is any protection or freedom for the press to report things in Samoa especially the issues that have happened in Samoa. The NPF story for example was one of the many news that had me support the media and the work they do. It has really opened my perspective that the job that media people do is not easy and I hope they are being protected. Social media posts that has gone viral on exposing reporters has really shown that there isn't  any freedom for the press"

Toloi’i Tuiloma 51 Falealili

"I honestly don't know if there is any freedom or not for the press in Samoa. What I do know is that there has been a lot of news by the media here in Samoa that has reported on things that have happened here and there on our small island. I hope they(the press) are being protected because the job that they do isn't easy and also criticised a lot by people here in Samoa."

Rosa Avapalu, 56 Tulaele 

"No there is no freedom for the people who work in the press for our country Samoa. Many of them have no protection, how can you say that there is freedom for the media people when you see online that they are being publicly called out by Government officials and members of the public? That's not freedom, that's suppression of free speech and one's right to speak the truth."

Folesi Apelu (46) Satapuala

"I watch the news now and then, sometimes it can be twisted but I am grateful that there are news and reports that the general public do not know and the press has to dig information up so we can know about it, and that's something really hard. Just like the NPF, many of the people wouldn't know about that if it wasn't for the news. So, I say there should be freedom of the press because they are the voice of the people."

By Anetone Sagaga 02 May 2024, 7:00PM
Samoa Observer

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