MY SAY: Thank You UN For Our Day

About the author:

Mataeliga Pio Sioa, Newsline Samoa newspaper editor. A veteran journalist in broadcast and print media.

  • Newsline senior journalist Martha Fa'avae-Taumata with the Pacific Forum General Secretary
    Newsline senior journalist Martha Fa'avae-Taumata with the Pacific Forum General Secretary

Tomorrow ( 2ND November 2019) is our special day. It is assigned to us journalists every year by the United Nations in recognition of our work.

Must acknowledge that first with appreciation for the vote of support. 

When you have a person like the UN Secretary General saluting you with praises for your contributions to humanity it can be quite inspirational.

When saddened and concerned by the trials and tribulations you suffer as a professional, it consoles and encourages at the same time too.

The battered old engine is revved up on all 8 cylinders ready to roar off again to help make the world a better place.

The UN message this year from General Secretary António Guterres is to end impunity for crimes against Journalists.’

It reads:

Freedom of expression and free media are essential to fostering understanding, bolstering democracy and advancing our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

In recent years, however, there has been a rise in the scale and number of attacks against the physical safety of journalists and media workers, and of incidents infringing upon their ability to do their vital work, including threats of prosecution, arrest, imprisonment, denial of journalistic access and failures to investigate and prosecute crimes against them.

The proportion of women among fatalities has also risen, and women journalists increasingly face gendered forms of violence, such as sexual harassment, sexual assault and threats.

When journalists are targeted, societies as a whole pay a price.  Without the ability to protect journalists, our ability to remain informed and contribute to decision-making is severely hampered.  Without journalists able to do their jobs in safety, we face the prospect of a world of confusion and disinformation.

On this International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, let us stand up together for journalists, for truth and for justice.”

End of Message.

Thank you Mr. General Secretary.

When you live in a place like Samoa, the heart goes out to our colleagues and the life risks they are forced to go through in their troubled part of the world.

We can sing and loudly boast about the peace we enjoy in paradise and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

What makes it wrong is when we sit on our hindquarters and allow our small paradise to be eroded by slacking up in our responsibilities as watchdogs of the values of justice and fairness in our island societies.

The world has become a global community and for small island nations like we are in our Blue Pacific continent, the threats to our peace and harmony have become global in size too.

Lets all keep that in mind on our special day.