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Media freedom is crucial to a country’s stability says Political expert Dr Steven Ratuva

 Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 10/04/2017

Media should remain independent at all times to ensure that they carry out their duties efficiently being watchdogs, to both government and people .

This will ensure transparency, credibility and Accountability in the Government’s role to its people and vice versa.

 

An academic and expert on Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury,  Professor Sitiveni Ratuva told Radio Tonga News.

 

“I think the media is very important in any democracy, it’s one of the pillars of democracy in terms of free expression, in terms of engagement with the people, in terms of making sure that the citizens are informed. Although there have been challenges in the past in relation to the media in Tonga but I think there’s a lot of scope because the Tongan have big hearts and the media should continue with the democratic culture that is now in place

 

He said, comparing media in Tonga to Fiji, Tonga’s media is more independent.

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Professor Ratuva said, if any media organization is owned by government – then Government should never try to influence them. The media on the other hand should never become a Government’s propaganda tool.

 

“I think there’s a lot of space for dialogue between the Government and the media. I think sometimes we just draw lines and make each other enemies when in fact there is a space to create a relationship between the two. Some of the media are seen as a spoke institution for government. But it is the media’s role to critic the Government and they must understand the role of media. So that it might come to a WIN WIN SITUATION for both Government and media and democracy as well

 

Professor Ratuva has departed Tonga after a three say visit to present a speech on Fiji’s Politics at the ‘Atenisi University.

 

© Radio and Television Tonga News