Masiofo Filifilia and Prime Minister Tuilaepa reading the first edition of Samoa Today
By Tulifau Auvaa
APIA: TUESDAY 15 JULY 2014: Samoa Today is the latest of newspapers to add to the vibrant independent media industry in Samoa.
The weekly’s first edition was launched Monday night by Her Highness Masiofo Filifilia at the papers offices at the groundfloor of the John Williams Building in Apia.
The high profile launch was also attended by the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, the Leader of the Opposition Palusalue Fa’apo, the Speaker of Parliament, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polata’ivao with the prayer service said by the General Secretary of the Congregational Christian Church Reverend Iutisone Dr. Salevao and members of the local media.
He also cautioned that stories that depict a negative image of the country such as sexual abuse of daughters by fathers must be balanced with positive stories which the media seem to ignore.
He congratulated the founders of the weekly paper and encouraged them to be consistent and sustain the publication “as I look around and see the same faces who have been behind previous failed publications.”
The editorial staff include former TV news reporter/presenter Merita Hutch who was a co-founder of the Weekender which was later bought by what is now the Iniini Weekly newspaper.
Reporting staff also include Samoan writer Tupa’i Molesi Taumaoe and lists as Chairman Manutufatufa Asafo a former writer for one of the longest serving Samoan language newspapers Samoana published out of Auckland, New Zealand that ceased publications ten years ago.
The Samoa Today has as its slogan “Covering Samoa and Beyond.”
The papers offices are based at the Eleanor’s Internet Café and Coffee shop on the ground floor of the John Williams building.
After the blessings, the General Secretary of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa that owns the building says he hopes the paper would be profitable so that it will be able to pay its rent on time.