Regional model status now in danger

Despite the liveliness of media groups such as Talamua Media and the Samoa Observer group, this Pacific archipelago is in the process of losing its status as a regional press freedom model. A law criminalizing defamation was repealed in 2013, raising hopes that were dashed in December 2017 when parliament restored the law under pressure from Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, giving him license to attack journalists who dared to criticize members of his government. A few months later, in early 2018, the prime minister warned Samoan media outlets not to “play with fire” by being too critical in their reporting or else his government would censor their websites. In response to these repeated threats, the Samoa Alliance of Media Practitioners for Development (SAMPOD) urged the media to reaffirm the rights of Samoans to a pluralist, free and independent media as an essential condition for democracy.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



22 in 2018

Global score


16.69 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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