SAMOAN REPORTER DEFIES SQUELCH ON COVERAGE

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 3) – A journalist in Samoa says he will continue to cover news conferences by the leader of the Samoa Democratic United party, despite being told by his boss not to.

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia is one of two reporters at the privately owned Samoa Radio Polynesia.

The pair were told by the stations owner, Maposua Rudolf Keil, in a letter to stop attending SDUP’s news conferences.

Maposua has also banned on the station further corruption stories by the SDUP leader against the government.

The decision follows allegations of corruption against the government raised in a news conference last week by SDUP leader, Asiata Sale’imoa Va’ai.

Autagavaia says he was shocked by the decision, but he says he still has a job to do.

"It is the role of the media not to take sides but to be impartial and take both sides of the political arena, so I will still continue to attend press conferences."

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says Maposua told them they should instead report and praise the work the government is doing in the country.

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