By Josephine Latu: Pacific Media Watch
The acting director of the Friendly Island Human Rights and Democracy Movement and former publisher of Kele’a, Siosiua Po’oi Pohiva, has defended the newspaper’s policy of leaving out bylines in its stories.
The newspaper does not print any of writers’ names, whether for news or editorial pieces.
Pohiva said that this was primarily to protect the journalists, adding that responsibility for the content was taken by senior staff.
“Isn’t having an editor and a publisher enough? Leave the messengers alone – just focus on the message. Don’t threaten the messenger,” he told Pacific Media Watch.
Kele’a is renowned for its controversial criticisms of the Tongan government and was fined TOP$500,000 last month for defaming Prime Minister Dr Feleti Sevele and his economic advisor Rob Solomon.
It is currently under receivership due to this unprecedented fine.
Kele’a made a statement that despite the court order the newspaper would be vigilant in scrutinising the actions of public leaders, especially the Prime Minister and his advisers.