LIKE flotsam, the power of the published word – via newspapers – seems to have floated across the Pacific Ocean and nestled on the shores of Samoa to flourish in that island country’s world of politics. The Tuatua Samoa Party now wants to give a “voice to the voiceless” through its newly-launched Tuatua Lelei newspaper. Party Leader, Palusalue Faapo II says the newspaper is an integral part of his party’s 2016 General Election campaign and will be used to “critique government developments” as well as publicise the Tuatua Samoa Party’s views ”about a number of issues“.
ACROSS the ocean, however, the same flotsam seems to have by-passed Vanuatu without making landfall. The Whisper there is that Prime Minister Sato Kilman summoned journalists to his office to lecture them about the need for “responsible reporting.” Kilman was apparently upset about alleged reporting which he said “defamed” people. Ni Vanuatu journalists agree there’s a need for “responsible journalism” but argue that apart from just using the media, political leaders must also know how to accept criticism when they do wrong, ie to be responsible too!
THE Nauruan Government under President Baron Waqa recently put in place measures to curb access by its citizens to social media sites such as Facebook. The fear, it was whispered, was that social media could corrupt minds with all the negative cyberspace reporting about Nauru. Waqa’s government faced a backlash of mainly foreign criticism accusing his government of trampling on basic human rights such as freedom of information. It appears the Nauruan authorities now see the benefits of using social media sites, in this case Twitter. The Whisper is that there’s now a concerted effort from the world’s smallest country to push its own side of the story by using Twitter as an avenue to educate international audiences about the more positive aspects of Nauru.
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• Whispers is compiled by the Editor. Contributions are welcome, send them to email@example.com