5 Jun 2007

Samoa radio station owner defends media conference ban

3:08 pm on 5 June 2007

The owner of a radio station in Samoa has defended his decision to stop two of his journalists from attending media conferences given by the leader of the SDUP, saying his station will not be used as a vehicle for public disputes.

In a letter, Maposua Rudolf Keil banned his journalists from attending news conferences given by Asiata Sale'imoa Va'ai.

He has also banned on the station further stories with corruption allegations by the SDUP leader against the government.

Maposua says he has nothing against Asiata but he does have concerns about what information he releases.

"I'm not suppressing anything, I'm suppressing the bad things that they are saying that is not tested in court. Now with if they went to court and I have a document in front of me that was decided by the judge, I would be happy to air it."

Maposua Rudolf Keil.

The two journalists involved say they are considering their next step.

The Journalists Association of Samoa has issued a statement calling for journalists to be given the freedom to report as they see fit.