TONGA is joining the rest of the world in commemorating World Press Freedom Day today 3 May 2023.
This year’s theme is “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights.”
This morning the Hon. Prime Minister told the state-owned Tonga Broadcasting AM station that media plays a significant role in the society as they provide information to promote good governance, transparency and holding government and other private sectors accountable.
He said Cabinet supports media freedom in Tonga especially in providing nation building issues. However, the PM also urges the journalists to be responsible in their news coverage to ensure that accurate, balanced, truthful and not misleading information are provided to the public.
He maintains that freedom of expression and media freedom in Tonga should be exercised as they play crucial role. But reporters as well as social media users should also be mindful there are limitations to what they can freely express.
The PM says there are legislation including the defamation law that the media should take into consideration when providing and disseminating news information.
Hon. Sovaleni says they (social media users) can freely express what and how they feel at the same time, they must ensure they do not use profanity language and are not ridiculing or defaming someone.
This evening, members of the Media Association of Tonga will host a dinner reception at the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua to mark the special event, with a keynote address from a long and varied career in media and journalism in New Zealand, Sefita Hao’uli.
A special featuring in the program is honoring the long service of Mr. Pesi and Mele Fonua of the Matangi Tonga Online.
President and members of the Media Association of Tonga are invited to the event.