Celebrating excellence in gender-reporting

Apr 27, 2016

Last night, UN Women and UNDP - in partnership with the School of Media and Journalism of the National University of Samoa - celebrated the IPPWS Media Awards.

The event, held at the STA Fale, was attended by the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa, Members of the Parliament Gatoloaifaana Amataga Gidlow and Minister for Women, Community and Social Development Faimalotoa Kika Stowers as well by representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, UN agencies and the media.  

The awards were launched last February to promote and celebrate examples of balanced media coverage, promoting gender equality and raising awareness on women’s leadership in decision-making. 

Of the twenty-six entries submitted, seven were awarded for their excellence in gender-sensitive reporting. The winners for the print category were: Sarafina Sanerivi, Lanuola Tusani Tupufia (Samoa Observer) and Lagi Keresoma (Talamua). An honorable mention was also given to Apulu Lance Polu, Editor of Talamua.  

For the broadcast category, Va’asiliena Iupati Laga’aia was recognised for his role as host of the 2AP “Faasoa I le Palota” and Talamua won for its interview series with women candidates.  Samoa Observer was awarded as the “Most Outstanding News Outlet”. 

The seven winners received a beautiful trophy produced by Manamea Art Studio and also a gift certificate from Samoa Stationary and Books (SSAB) worth WST500. 

In her welcome remarks the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Ms. Lizbeth Cullity, said: “Through your timely reporting, you helped improve the public’s understanding of women’s political participation. You played a pivotal role in challenging stereotypes about women, leadership and decision-making.” 

Professor Fui Le'apai Tu'ua 'Īlaoa Asofou So'o, NUS Vice-Chancellor, in his keynote address congratulated the winners and highlighted the importance of preparing the future media professionals with the knowledge they need to promote gender equality. 

NUS Vice-Chancellor said: “Stereotypes are prevalent in every day media. Women are often portrayed solely as homemakers and carers of the family, dependent on men, or as objects of male attention. As such, there is a link between the participation of women in the media and improvements in the representation of women.” 

“Such portrayals can influence perceptions in terms of what society may expect from men and women, but also what they may expect from themselves. They promote an unbalanced vision of the roles of women and men in society. Media practitioners have to understand this in order to be able to play an effective role in gender equality.”

Professor Fui Asofou So'o also pointed out: “Media education and training is one of those programmes that we consider a priority due to their watchdog role in any society hence why we continue to invest our resources in the Media and Journalism Programme as well as offering the gender module in its programme structure.”

Ms. Aleta Miller, UN Women Regional Representative for the Pacific, in her closing remarks stated: “IPPWS recognized how gender-responsive reporting guarantees fair and accountable narratives about women who run for office. Tonight’s awards promote good practice and encourage journalists to examine the role of women in leadership.”

The Media Awards were part of the Increasing Political Participation of Women in Samoa (IPPWS), a joint programme between UN Women and UNDP, in partnership with the Government of Samoa and the Australian Government. 

The winners were:


  • Lanuola Tupufia, Samoa Observer,“Mara Steps Up”
  • Sarafina Sanerivi, Samoa Observer,“Women gear up for the election”
  • Lagi Keresoma, Talamua, “Fiame Naomi Mataafa continues her family’s political legacy”

Honorable mention: 

  • Apulu Lance Polu,Talamua, "Faaulusau Rosa Duffy-Stowers secures 5th parliamentary seat for women”


  • Talamua Female Candidate  Interview Series
  • 2AP “Faasoa I le Palota” host Va’asiliena Iupati Laga’aia

Oustanding News Outlet:

  • Samoa Observer


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