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Samoa Travel Guide

Newspapers

The main English-language newspaper is the Samoa Observer, published daily. Founded in 1978 by acclaimed poet and novelist Sano Malifa, the Observer has faced constant government harassment due to its exposures of official corruption. Government advertising has been canceled, and to plug leaks, a law has been passed forcing journalists to reveal their information sources. The compulsory registration of publications and their employees has been imposed, and lawsuits against those accused of libeling government ministers are paid out of the public purse (all this, ironically, by the "Human Rights Protection Party" administration). In 1994, the paper's premises were gutted by arson, and in 1999, Malifa narrowly escaped being murdered. Of course, this situation only makes the Observer all the more worth reading.

Newsline, established in 1995, comes out on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Several other weekly papers also appear with most articles in Samoan.

Radio

The government-operated Broadcasting Department transmits over an AM radio frequency. SPC Radio at 540 kHz airs bilingual programs (English and Samoan) daily 0600-midnight. Their news in Samoan and English is at 0700, 0800, 1200, 1700, and 1900 Monday to Saturday and only at 0700 on Sunday (rebroadcast from New Zealand).

A private company, Radio Polynesia Ltd., operates four FM stations which are on the air 24 hours a day. Magik FM broadcasts over 98.1 MHz and Talofa FM over 99.9 MHz. The same company runs K-Rock FM at 96.1 MHz and K-Lite FM at 101.1 MHz. Magik 98 rebroadcasts the Radio New Zealand International news at 0700 and 0800. Local news comes before the 0700 international news weekdays, then again at noon, 1700, and 1900. On Saturday there's local news at 0700 and 1200. K-Lite plays the Radio New Zealand news weekdays at 0600, 0700, 0800, 1500, 1600, 1800, 1900, 2000, and 2100.