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Reporting truth

Torika Tokalau In Tonga
Friday, July 11, 2014

INVESTIGATIVE journalism should be a norm of journalism in the Pacific.

This was the view of Kalafi Moala, the CEO, founder and publisher of Tonga media organisation Taimi Media Network Kalafi Moala, during the PACMAS investigative journalism workshop in Tonga.

Moala, a veteran journalist who exposed the passport scandal in Tonga in the early 1990s, said investigative journalism in the Pacific was extremely important.

"Every story we (journalists) write must be investigated, factual, balanced and it must be aimed at really getting to the truth — looking at its impact on people," Moala said.

"There is no real journalism without investigative journalism."

He said even within the spheres of the law, while some countries were very restrictive, a journalist could still work within those laws to investigate and get to the truth.

"We don't need to wait until the laws are changed or made easier for a person to investigate.

"Whether it be in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Papua New Guinea or the Solomon Islands, within the current laws of those countries there is still the ability of the investigative journalist to do their job."

He said journalists of today needed to broaden their scope of knowledge and understanding when covering certain issues.

"Journalism is a mission, it's a career, a lifestyle and a contribution you make to your society."

Moala said he came across several life-threatening situations in the 1990s as a journalist but that did not stop him from getting the truth out.

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