Posted by : Posted on : 16-Oct-2015

Honiara : 16 October 2015

Letter to the Editor, Solomon Star Newspaper.

Earlier this year I wrote an article which you published in your newspaper when I said, “The Solomon Islands is blessed with a free press which allows for a sharing of news and views.  It is encouraging; too, to witness how social media is changing the way citizens are beginning to exercise their democratic rights and enabling e-democracy to take hold.

Importantly, in the same article, I stressed that, “Social media must never be used to undermine a legitimate government but should be aimed to foster better governance, transparency and accountability.

Yesterday, in the National Parliament, the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, the Hon. Manesseh Sogavare, when addressing the House, had similar words to say in support of media freedom, but he too reminded his parliamentary colleagues that media reports and statements must be factual and not tainted.

This is what the Prime Minister had to say.

“Mr. Speaker, the Government supports media freedom and as a matter of fact I have great admiration for the manner in which our media fraternity is keeping the country informed of what is happening. Unfortunately not all reports are factual and as a matter of fact tainted with bad politics. They are not doing any good for the country.

As a matter of fact if we do not place a check on bad reporting, we will be in danger of creating a society that will learn to have no respect for authorities and a tendency to believe anything they read. I am saying this because no one should underestimate the power of the pen as the saying goes.

Do not get me wrong, I welcome the work of our media when they expose the right and factual information about what the Government is doing and there is no reason why they cannot not get that information from me as head of the Government.”

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