The front page headline by Island Sun newspaper ‘GOVT BOWS TO MALAITA’ is outright misleading and way off the mark.

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Special Secretary to Prime Minister Albert Kabui urged media outlets to report facts and not creating agenda plucked out of thin air.

Kabui reiterated that issues in the petition by Honiara based Malaitians is now being dealt with by the relevant ministries. In fact, some of the issues raised was already being dealt with and is progressively worked on by the Government. The Government will, like always, engage with the Malaita Provincial Government who is the mandated authority.

Kabui explained that national government is not coerced by any groups or entities to engage with MPG, the proposed dialogue with MPG is a normal practise provided for by the Provincial Government Act.

“Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening as the rightful ministry will provide update to MPG as and when appropriate,” Kabui stated.

The SSPM reiterated the call for media to exercise responsibility and provide accurate information so as not to mislead people.

SSPM reminds the press of what Arthur Hays Sulzberger, who was the publisher of the New York Times from 1935 to 1961 said, “Perhaps we ought to ask ourselves just what freedom of the press really is. Whose freedom is it? Does it merely guarantee the right of the publisher to do and say whatever he wishes, limited only by the laws of libel, public order and decency…? Is it only a special license to those who manage the units of the press? The answer, of course, is No. Freedom of the press — or, to be more precise, the benefit of freedom of the press belongs to everyone — to the citizen as well as the publisher. The publisher is not granted the privilege of independence simply to provide him with a more favoured position in the community than is accorded to other citizens. He enjoys an explicitly defined independence because it is the only condition under which he can fulfill his role, which is to inform fully, fairly and comprehensively. The crux is not the publisher’s ‘freedom to print’; it is rather the citizens’ right “to know”.”

“Yellow journalism must be stopped if the media fraternity is genuine in creating credibility to its profession,” Albert Kabui concluded.


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