Pacific Media Watch

23 June 2016

REGION: Pacific media editors need to 'enforce' ethics, says ex-PINA president

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The Samoa Observer ... apologised over the controversial front page image this week. Image: Samoa Observer/ Asia Pacific Report

SYDNEY (ABC Pacific Beat/ Pacific Media Watch): Broadcaster Monica Miller, a former president of the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA), says it is up to media practitioners to enforce media standards and ethics in the Pacific.

The statement was made during an interview with ABC’s Pacific Beat radio programme and follows the controversy of the Samoan Observer publishing a picture of a suicide victim on the front page of the Sunday edition of the newspaper this week.

Miller told ABC’s Pacific Beat reporter Richard Ewart that some reporters who are acting as newspaper editors often did not have a journalism background and so wrongly treated the newspaper as a business entity.

“I know of somebody who carries the name journalist or reporter here in American Samoa who would continually write these kinds of stories,” she told Pacific Beat.

“And then just because no one else is bothering to report on such issues they would make the front page, because their editors don’t have that journalism background, they are just business people.

“I can say in parts of the Pacific you have that kind of situation, that a newspaper is just a business—that’s reality. I mean even some radio stations are operated like that, they just fill in the five-minute spot because somebody is sponsoring it.”

She talked about the ethics of publishing faces of young children and printing their names in the media.

“I’ve been in Samoa where the television station would be showing photographs of children, infants and toddlers who are kept in the shelter so there’s a need for training.”

Listen to the full interview with Monica Miller on ABC Pacific Beat.

See also coverage of this issue on Asia Pacific Report.

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Pacific Media Watch

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