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Solomon Islands Rapped for Weak Role

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HONIARA (/SIBC Online/Pacific Media Watch/): A veteran Solomon Islands journalist has turned a harsh eye on his own profession, saying the country?s media did little to impede the crime and corruption that took root in the Solomons after 1999.

Speaking last Friday in Honiara to mark World Press Freedom Day, Johnson Honimae said the Solomon Islands experienced social unrest because the media did not play its role as a watchdog on the leadership of the country since independence.

He said the country's resources were virtually stolen because the media did not speak out.

Honimae said the media only picked on national leaders but did not touch tribal leaders or Solomon Islands middlemen who abused the trust of landowners for the sake of filling up their pockets and their foreign bosses.

He said some of these middlemen continue to flood the lobbies of some of the hotels in Honiara and the media is doing nothing about them.

Honimae said the social unrest happened because the media did not highlight these events.

But he said he is encouraged to see that for the past three years there have been investigative reports in the local media into issues and decisions that are questionable by both national, provincial, church and community leaders


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