PM Fiame backs media freedom

By Anetone Sagaga 03 May 2024, 11:00PM

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata'afa delivered a powerful message on World Press Freedom Day, emphasising the significant role of the media in promoting press freedom and in the dissemination of crucial information.

In her address to the media fraternity on Friday afternoon at the Samoa Tourism Authority fale, she highlighted the importance of celebrating the fundamental principles of press freedom and honouring journalists who have faced challenges in carrying out their work.

"Every year on this day, the world assembles to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, take stock of freedom of expression around the world, and pay tribute to journalists who have faced abuse and, in some countries, have lost their lives in the exercise of their mission," she stated.

She acknowledged the pivotal role of the media in providing factual information to the public and shaping public discourse. The theme of this year's celebration, "Press for the Planet, Journalism in the Face of Environmental Crisis," underscored the critical role of the media in raising awareness about environmental issues and mobilising action for the planet.

The Prime Minister also praised the contributions of media practitioners in Samoa and urged them not to become complacent in upholding the principles of ethical journalism. She emphasised the importance of maintaining the integrity and impartiality of the media in the face of evolving challenges such as the rise of social online media and artificial intelligence.

"We applaud your services, but by the same token we also urge all of you here and abroad not to be too complacent in performing your duties as articulated in the media code of ethics and code of practice," she said.

As the world navigates the effects of the ongoing climate emergency and the post-COVID-19 recovery, responsible journalism is seen as a vital force for good. 

The Prime Minister called upon journalists and news organisations to rethink their role and purpose with a sense of urgency to adapt to the changing landscape of media and information dissemination.

In closing, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa wished the Samoa media fraternity and the Journalists Association of Samoa a memorable and peaceful World Press Freedom Day, highlighting the crucial role of press freedom in promoting transparency, accountability, and democracy in Samoa and beyond.

By Anetone Sagaga 03 May 2024, 11:00PM
Samoa Observer

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