BENJAMIN Afuga, the Man Of The Year, an award accorded him by Robert Iroga’s magazine, started the Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII) some years ago, boasting thousands of members.
But a falling out between him and his Vice President over alleged financial mismanagement saw the FSII catapulted into the social media wilderness. As a Man of the Year, Mr Afuga never gave up.
He saw to it that a new avenue is open. Today, that thriving avenue is the YUMI TOKTOK FORUM.
It’s a good social media forum except the similarities in administration that we witnessed in FSII continues.
Last week for example, I pointed out to Mr Afuga he was wrong in crediting former Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo with the birth of the Munda Airport. It was a fact.
Immediately, those responsible for administering the YUMI TOKTOK FORUM slapped a ban on any and all the comments I had made in trying to join debates on various issues, including politics.
That ban blocked me from responding to any or all personal attacks on me. It has since been a one-way traffic.
On Tuesday someone using the pseudonym of Jorge Nostrodame was at it again.
Here’s what he had to say.
“Mae karange, are we still on the bandwagon of fifth columnists. Wake up people, useless journalism set to only confuse. Can the PM now ban Island Sun from publishing rubbish?”
And a Joe Faoso who came up with the term, “Murmur Reporters” of reports of what is going on behind the scene.
The fact of the matter is this. Journalism is about reporting what people say. If indeed there is any confusion, it is those who are manufacturing the untruths that are causing the confusion.
Mr Nostradame is a brave man. Island Sun could sue him for rubbishing it.
Don’t blame the messenger.
Island Sun has been consistent in trying to get to the bottom of what has and continues to happen behind the scene. Here’s why I say Island Sun has been consistent in its reporting of what is going on behind the scene.
On 18 January this year, the following comments were attributed to Prime Minister Ricky Houenipwela, “I have no time for political gambling: Hou.”
In that story which appeared on Page 3 of the Island Sun newspaper, the Prime Minister admitted to “certain elements outside Cabinet intent on driving a wedge between the group, I am not deterred by such ill-fated actions by desperate individuals.”
So was the Prime Minister talking about journalists? Certainly not. If his admission were to be taken into context, it meant that the Prime Minister was well aware of who within the Government but outside Cabinet, intent on driving a wedge between his DAP group and other Political groupings in the Coalition.
That much is crystal clear from the comments attributed to the Prime Minister.
Anyone suggesting that journalists manufacture the apparent division within the ruling coalition is obviously suffering a political blind spot.
Our business is to report the truth. In this case, we have not got to the bottom of it yet. But we will because we know there are people out there who are and will be willing to speak the truth to us.
Truth will never be brushed aside. Truth will never go away, however much we hate it or try to hide it.
For some of us who have been in the reporting business for almost half a century, we will never be deterred from focusing on achieving the truth and nothing but the truth.
We will never be swayed either. Truth must always prevail despite being called names by those who know little or nothing at all about journalism. If you cannot identify yourself publicly as some do, then you simply don’t have what it takes to be a journalist worth his or her salt.