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Samba PR Consultants To Boost Tongan Govt Image

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SUVA (Pacific Media Watch): The Tongan government has hired the Fiji design and public relations company Samba to boost its international image strategy, Pacnews reports.

In a dispatch on 14 March 2002, Pacnews quoted government spokesperson Clive Edwards as saying it was important for the Tongan public to be more fully informed about key issues affecting the kingdom and its people.

Edwards said the government was concerned about media reports, which painted a "distorted picture" of Tonga.

"Some of the reportage, locally and overseas, is extremely biased and damaging", Pacnews reported him as saying.

"There is responsibility on the part of government to correct this. We also need to highlight some of the positive aspects about our country, its culture and way of life. But our capacity to communicate is severely limited because the government machinery is inadequate."

Samba director Matt Wilson and consultant Mue Bentley met ministers in Nuku'alofa this week. They were briefed on the government's existing media/communication and information systems and had discussions on many related issues.

According to Pacnews, Matt Wilson is a well-known figure in Fiji's media industry and is familiar with the region. He is a former chief-of-staff of the Fiji Times and editorial director of Islands Business. He was one of the founders of Communications Fiji Ltd, owners of the FM96 radio group.



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