20 May 2004

Call for continued government funding of broadcasting in Samoa

4:58 pm on 20 May 2004

The former head of state television in Samoa says the Government has a responsibility to maintain a public broadcasting presence in the country.

The Government is poised to sell off its radio and television assets within a year.

Leota Uelese Petaia - who headed state tv until two years ago - says the Government should continue to fund local programmes.

"Privatising television is obviously going to be a good thing as far as businesspeople are concerned. My concern is what they need to look at is to turn it into a community-type television station where communities can come in and make programmes and government can fund it."

Leota has applied to the Government for a license to set up a private free-to-air station because he says there is not enough focus on local events.

Officials say state-owned media, operating under the Samoa Broadcasting Corporation, will be restructured before any sale can occur.