Monday, January 13, 2014
More Local Media Fraud on Faleomavaega?
We thought the media had turned the corner on the issue of how to handle the disappearance of Faleomavaega, who has been missing in action since being medivaced off the island since last October. But apparently not.
Even though talanei.com earlier last week boldly ran a story questioning the health status of the Delegate, they came right back on Friday to run a press release quoting Faleomavaega from a statement he entered into the Congressional Record on the passing of Guamanian former Delegate Ben Blaz.
Does talanei.com know that Eni actually made those remarks or was it staff? Did the staff write and submit them on their own or by direction. Any of those methods are quite acceptable, but talanei.com provided no qualifier, leaving readers with the impression that Faleomavaega strolled over to the Floor of the House, delivered a tribute to Blaz and had his remarks entered into the Record. What is not acceptable is to continue to participate in a coverup and using this press release in this fashion amounts to just that.
Meanwhile, after promising follow up stories, Samoa News, where Eni’s sister-in-law, the Democratic National Committeewoman, is on the editorial staff, has had nothing further to say about the Delegate. Curiously, they have not covered last week’s press conference of congressional candidate Tua’au Kereti Mata’utia, who did raise questions about Faleomavaega saying nothing of his health, but at the same time they also did not carry the press release on Ben Blaz.
Since Mata’utia is a member of the Governor’s immediate staff, is the only announced candidate for Congress and is a Democrat, it does look suspicious that the leading newspaper would not cover his press conference and once again it must be asked if Eni’s sister-in-law’s presence on the newspaper staff plays any role in the paper’s decision on what is newsworthy?
We also thought both media organizations would follow up on the story broken Friday by Saipan and Guam Washington correspondent Matt Kaye, who revealed that Eni is playing no role in moving the Omnibus Territories Bill though Congress. Again, not a word by talanei.com or Samoa News, despite the fact that this story has major ramifications for the territory.
To talanei.com we again say, do not use Faleomavaega press releases unless you can verify their veracity and if they are legitimate remarks uttered by the Delegate, tell your readers and your Radio 93KHJ-FM listeners.
To Samoa News we say, if you did not use the Blaz press release because you could not attest to its veracity, we applaud you but then tell your readers that. Faleomavaega’s staff will have no reason to be forthcoming with the public unless and until they are compelled by the local media to do so.
Neither Samoa News nor talanei.com may care what this blog thinks, but sooner or later they will begin to hear from legitimate off-island media such as Associated Press, Radio Australia and Radio New Zealand, all of whom employ as occasional correspondents staff members on Samoa News and talanei.com. Once those media organizations’ credibility is compromised beyond repair, expect RA, RNZI and AP to begin to look elsewhere for reliable news sources.