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  1. . . .

    As a former sub-editor at the Samoa Observer, my comments may be biased.

    But equating corruption in the Fourth Estate with the one newspaper that has done the most to challenge said corruption also seems biased. To centre most of that allegation around one, solitary instance of an unpaid debt lacks perspective, and risks appearing petty.

    This chapter leaves unexamined the very many corrupt actions taken by government against the Samoa Observer, and, more widely, against other news media outlets, including the state broadcaster.

    I am not suggesting Savea Sano Malifa is an angel without blemish. No one publishes for 35 years without making mistakes, even serious ones.

    But the challenges faced by Savea and all the other journalists in Samoa deserve retelling, so it is a pity you have chosen to focus on just your own experiences. The story of the Fourth Estate there remains to be told.

    • Thank you for bothering to respond here Jason.

      > As a former sub-editor at the Samoa Observer, my comments may be biased.

      Perhaps, but I doubt it. You have insight, experience and bring balance to your professional work and this post.

      > But equating corruption in the Fourth Estate with the one newspaper that has done the most to challenge said corruption also seems biased.

      Yes it could be but the conclusions are highly valid nonetheless. In CIS I take one example and extrapolate it. Having lived in Samoa for seven years, worked with and around all the people you know, some of them both at work and personally I can tell you things that will REALLY surprise you.

      > To centre most of that allegation around one, solitary instance of an unpaid debt lacks perspective, and risks appearing petty.

      Yes it certainly could appear that way. There are two factors that perhaps you should also be aware of: a) the book was written Q1,2015 and supplied to the PM personally and only him. Much of the litigation and many other supporting experiences occurred around this time and later, and b) I did not include EVERYTHING, simply taking limited experiences. I have read and re-read this book more than any of the 22x I have written due to the potential for false accusation and defamation. I stand by my core conclusions 100%.

      > This chapter leaves unexamined the very many corrupt actions taken by government against the Samoa Observer, and, more widely, against other news media outlets, including the state broadcaster.

      Yes, this is a valid point. I am happy to publish anything you wish to add or say in any format/medium you so wish. The book though was an honest sharing of my experiences at the time. I left off MANY examples of corruption – the Customs Department, Health, Education, Conservation, you name it! I focused on the principle examples.

      > I am not suggesting Savea Sano Malifa is an angel without blemish. No one publishes for 35 years without making mistakes, even serious ones.

      You make two errors of logic here Jason – first this is idea of a “mistake” misconstrues my core message – we are not talking of “mistakes”, secondly tenure in business has nothing to do with the flawed character of the principal. I have met Samoa Observer in court proceedings more than once. I have read every judgment in Samoa and taken serious note of what the judges say about Sano and his ultra low level of credibility. I have engaged with many people over the years, most who fear him and do not want their name mentioned. I would say this though, 35 years in business shows his pigheadedness and stickability but it also has given us much material in which to assess his true character. As I think I have posted before, he makes up for his lack in the ethics department with energy in the self-promotion one.

      > But the challenges faced by Savea and all the other journalists in Samoa deserve retelling, so it is a pity you have chosen to focus on just your own experiences. The story of the Fourth Estate there remains to be told.

      I concur. Definitely. Watch this space.

      There is another factor that should be taken into account in reading and digesting CIS, and that is the primary reason for writing the book and then eventually publishing, some two years later was personal and political. For two years there was only one man who had read it. My expulsion from Samoa and how it was done eventually flushed him out as the coward, crook and unrepentant adulterer that he is. http://www.palemia.com. While your comments are valued and I think have a degree of validity, the ills within the Fourth Estate pale into insignificance when you know from where the corruption there comes.

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