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State interference continues as Tongan journalists moved into sales

Better times..PM Pohiva with TBC's senior staff (from left) Viola Ulakai, Laumanu Petelo and former GM Nanise Fifita

NUKU’ALOFA – October 11: 3.55pm (RNZI/Nuku’alofa Times): Government’s interference in the operation of Radio and Television Tonga is continuing with the State-appointed Board Chairman now moving two senior journalists our of the newsroom to sales and marketing.

Ms Laumanu Petelo and Ms Viola Ulakai are two of the senior journalists working with the State broadcaster.

But they are now working as sales and marketing officers after having been moved out of the newsroom by new Chairman Tui ‘Uata.

Mr ‘Uata replaces Mr Ngalu Fusimalohi as the Board Chairman.

He is a close associate of Prime Minister Pohiva and is one of the members of the PM’s so called council of advisers.

Both journalists had run-ins this year with PM Pohiva who called the TBC an enemy of government because of its critical coverage.

Shortly after that claim the then TBC chairman Tapu Panuve and then General Manager Nanise Fifita were dismissed.

Chief engineer Solomone Finau has since been appointed acting general manager.


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