The Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) has denounced a SB$75, 000 compensation demand on the Island Sun newspaper by supporters of West Honiara Member of Parliament Namson Tran Thursday last week.The supporters were reportedly angered by a front-page story and picture published in the newspaper which quoted Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Mathew Wale labeling Mr Tran as a "criminal".
In a statement today, MASI said harassing journalists and media organizations in such method was inappropriate and disrespectful to media freedom in Solomon Islands.
The statement said there are appropriate ways of settling disagreements on issues including media complaints and one best approach is to take up legal action in the courts.
MASI said any direct or indirect threat on journalists and the media is an undemocratic act in itself and people should take note of that.
The statement said what transpired into that unwanted situation was mere reporting of what was said during the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing, which was also live broadcasted on radio and television.
Meanwhile, MASI has encouraged its members not to be intimidated by such actions and continue to inform people of Solomon Islands of what is going on in government.
MASI is an organization that speaks on interests and issues affecting the local media in Solomon Islands.
Source: Press Release, Media Association Solomon Islands (MASI)