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Media Council approves Media Code of Ethics

Media Council photo: (SEATED Left to Right) Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin, Reverend Vaiao Alailima Eteuati, Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, Apulu Lance Polu (JAWS President), Leautulilagi Vanessa Barlow Schuster (Chairperson), Geoff Heriot (Consultant), Lagi Keresoma and Fa’aolo Utumapu-Uta’ilesolo. STANDING: Leatuavao Ioane Malaki, Reverend Dr. Faalepo Tuisugaletaua, Ulu Maluofinao Shinn Ete, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, Le’apai Valovalo Tusani, Seumanutafa Dr. Malcom Hazelman and Emil Adams. Absent are Sasa’e Fualautoalasi and To’omata Sita Leota. NB: JAWS President is not a member of the Council.

BY Staff Reporters

APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2017: The Samoa Media Council today approved the Media Code of Ethics in principle as its first decision when it met for the first time after the public announcement of its members last night.

The Media Council was appointed by the National Media Association of Samoa – JAWS, as prescribed under the Media Council Act 2015.

The Chair the Media Council, lawyer Leautulilagi Vanessa Barlow Schuster declared “this is a living document” when the 15 member Council unanimously adopted the document.

The Council members representing the Community include:

  • Reverend Vaiao Ala’ilima Eteuati
  • Reverend Dr. Fa’alepō Tuisugaletauā
  • Seumanutafa Dr. Malcom Hazelman
  • Galumalemana Alfred Hunkin
  • Sasa’e Fualautoalasi Walter
  • To’omata Sita Leota
  • Ulu Maluofinao Shinn Ete
  • Leatuavao Lefeau Ioane Malaki and
  • Le’apai Valoavalo Tusani

The members representing the Media Industry include:

  • Fa’aolo Utumapu-Uta’ilesolo
  • Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson
  • Lagi Keresoma
  • Galumalemana Tipi Autagavaia and
  • Emil Adams

The Council – meeting for the first time today, reviewed the draft Code of Ethics that has been developed by JAWS and Consultant Geoff Heriot under funding from the Australian funded Pacific Media Project – PACMAS.

The Code has been under further screening by the various sectors and stakeholders this week and is planned to be adopted next Tuesday 21 February 2017.

The Code will be the guideline for the Samoa media and will be central to the work of the Samoa Media Council in ensuring prescribed standards and ethics are maintained in the media.

Also central to the Code of Ethics is upholding media freedom, the freedom of information and expression as guaranteed under Samoa’s Constitution.

The Code is the result of ten years work and addresses prevailing advances in the media landscape including the social and the mainstream media platforms.

In announcing the members of the Media Council, JAWS expresses gratitude and confidence in the caliber of the members being appointed.

“The high caliber and quality of the members appointed after expressing their interest to serve in the Council, reflects the care they share of the importance of the media to our democratic process and our people,” says President Apulu Lance Polu.

The experience of Council members representing the Community traverse a wide scope of careers such as theologians and church ministers, international public servants, university lecturers, lawyers, a satirical writer and a sports and social media enthusiast.

Media representatives include a blind media specialist working for the Senese Inclusive Education Project and the rest with no less than fifty years combined working experience in broadcasting, print, online news platforms, photography, environmental reporting and freelance journalism.

The Media Council is appointed by the JAWS Executive under the Media Council Act 2015 and works to ensure professional standards are established, developed and maintained across the media in Samoa.

The Media Code of Ethics covers 3 major areas in Advertising, Editorial & News Content and Content Management.

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