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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Samoa News Editor Suggests Press Box In Parliament
After old Fono’s demolition, new building in the works

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 28, 2012) – A news editor in Samoa says if reporters had their own press box in parliament house, it would send the message that journalists have a role to play in the parliamentary process.

Consulting work about the design of the new Parliament, which will replace the old building on its current site, is being undertaken.

The editor of the Apia Financial Review, Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson, says at the very least they are hoping for a press box within parliament, and a separate entrance for reporters.

She says that way they could view parliamentary proceedings, without disrupting them.

"So I think it could possibly change the way that we report, in that we have more access, but I think the most important thing is that it will give the legislative staff, as well as the police officers that are there to guard the building, it will make them understand that we do have a role to play in parliament, the media is part of that process."

Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson says the attitudes of those that guard the parliament building are quite hostile towards journalists and that needs to change.

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