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Former Solomons Journalist And MP Defends Media

Former Journalist And MP Defends Media

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HONIARA (Pacnews/Pacific Media Watch): Former Pacific journalist Alfred Sasako and now an MP has defended Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) against a political leader's threat to sue the state-run radio for failing to reveal news sources, Pacnews reports.

The SIBC had reported that Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza's secretive trip to South Korea last week could cost him his job.

Sasako, for many years a prominent regional journalist and currently East Kwaio MP, said the national broadcaster should continue its "good work in reporting the affairs of the nation without fear or favour".

He said the People's Alliance Party threat "amounts to intimidation, censorship and bullying of the worst kind", adding that it was a threat to smother those who worked under trying conditions to uphold the freedom of the press.

"Such intimidation and bullying have no place in a democracy," Sasako said. "As long as SIBC's reports are fair and responsible, and as long as their responsibility is not seen as a licence to cause mayhem, news organisations, including the SIBC, have a right to protect their sources".

Sasako urged SIBC and other media organisations in the Solomon Islands "to continue reporting the affairs of the nation unfettered and with responsibility".

He said the state broadcaster should not bow to threats regardless of where they came from.

Sasako said the SIBC in particular had an "awesome duty" to inform the people of Solomon Islands and it must do that without fear or favour



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