Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) wishes to acknowledge and thank one of the long serving Journalist and newspaper editor Mr. Ofani Eremae for his dedication and commitment in keeping the work of the media alive during his time with the Solomon Star newspaper.
Mr. Eremae according to information available was dishonorably and undiplomatically terminated by Solomon Star Newspaper a family owned media house of a very well-respected journalist the late Mr. John Lamani, who always in his time treated his journalists with respect and upheld the independence of media. Mr. Eremae was terminated two weeks ago joined the Solomon Star newspaper as one of the young journalists and work for so many years alongside veteran Journalist and owner of the company late John Lamani.
He made his way up as a reporter, where he builds his reputation and trust to take up the position of the chief editor in the newsroom.
Mr. Eremae work for more than 20 years with the newspaper has contributed a lot to the work of the print media to better inform and educate the nation on important issues and information published in the paper. He truly maintained the important role of media and civil society in a democracy, especially holding power to account.
During his tenure with the newspaper there was growth in quality of information the newspaper carried in each issue. In general, he continued to advance the fundamental role of the media in Solomon Islands as a democratic country.
His long service will stay as a legacy to the media industry in Solomon Islands. How he was dismissed/terminated will linger on in journalists’ memory and in generations of journalists that will continue to carry on from where he left. Given the manner in which he was terminated Transparency Solomon Islands continues to call for the human treatment and protection of Journalists from their employers and any legislative reforms that restrict their voice, space, and investigative power.
It is the Editors working with fellow journalist as did Mr. Eremae that keeps the work of the print media relevant and consistent to the news readers and public of Solomon Islands. Let us treat them with dignity and respect and accord them natural justice.
Transparency Solomon Islands calls on all mainstream media organization to treat journalists fairly and humanly and not to use the covid-19 as an excuse to unfairly terminate them from their job of informing the public about what is going on. It is them that collect the news, editors doing the due diligence check to inform public correctly. COVID 19 in this case does not ring true especially when termination starts with the most experience. To the government TSI reminds them that media houses need Economic Stimulus Package for the important role they play supporting government programme and as information source for public but more importantly so that they can keep their journalists at work and not ungraciously dismissed as in this instance.
Transparency Solomon Islands conveys it sincere appreciations to Mr. Ofani Eremae and acknowledged his contribution to the media industry during his time with the Solomon Star Newspaper. TSI hopes to work with the new editor going forwards.