Search Browse On This Day Map Quotations Timeline Research Free Datasets Remembered About Contact

"Disgusting, degrading" reporting of Samoan death

Sun 19 Jun 2016 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Phylesha Brown-Acton Mounting anger at this morning's reporting of the death of a Samoan trans woman in Apia is spilling over into New Zealand with prominent trans-rights campaigner Phylesha Brown-Acton saying the Samoa Observer's coverage has left her "absolutely disgusted." On the front page of its Sunday Samoa edition the Samoa Observer has shown a full-length image of Jeanine Tuivaiki's body hanging from the rafters of a central Apia Catholic church hall. In the accompanying news story the paper refers to Tuivaiki as "a man", and uses the words "he" and "his." "I am absolutely disgusted by the Samoa Observer and their front page photo of a young fa'afafine woman, who hangs lifeless from a church beam, suspected of completing suicide" says Brown-Acton, who describes the reporting as "completely inappropriate and disrespectful!" "Where is the respect for this young person and her family? The use of such an image to sell newspapers is the lowest form of sales tactics and the editor and the reporter should be held accountable for such degrading journalism!" Brown-Acton says the newspaper, the biggest circulation newspaper in Samoa, of having "a track record of misgendering, misclassifying and misrepresenting Faafafine and continuing to portray and promote fear among community about Faafafine!" Postings on the Samoa Observer Facebook page are hugely critical of the reporting and many postings are reportedly being deleted. Comments have included: "Samoa Observer- you stupid, insensitive assholes. You showed that you don’t care about LGBTQ as the photo you published on the front page and the pronoun you used for her just reinforces the abuse, insensitively and hate our brothers and sisters who identify as LGBT go through. Poor Jeanine deserves respect and decency, even her death you mistreat her with this “other-ing” piece. You are merchants of hate, no matter what your self absorbed freedom of the press cliches are." "Was it necessary to put that picture of Jaenine Tuivaki on the front page of the paper hanging from the rafters of a Church Hall. Yes she is a transgender person, but where is the respect for the dead….she is a Suli of Samoa, Suli of Aiga, Suli of a mum and a dad….I am disgusted at the lack of Respect for this human being. Would this be done to a person who was not a faafafine? Jeanine was someones child, someones sibling, someones love. Journalism without any respect is what this is." "Just utterly disgraceful, inexcusable, totally unprofessional, and gives ammunition to those who want greater controls on the media for other purposes, to shut down political criticism or investigations into corruption. Media ethics classes will study this outrage for years to come as it’s an awful example of how to absolutely NOT report these kinds of stories." and "Really?!? Is this what it’s come down to?!? Instead of rushing to get her down, they take a photo of her?And reaaaally Observer? Where is the dignity respect and love that Jeanine so desperately needed in life that she also deserved in death?!Where can one write complaints about this? Can they be sued?Tasteless and disgusting" If this story raises issues and you need to talk, there is ALWAYS help out there. Please call OUTLine on 0800 OUTLINE, or Rainbow Youth on (09) 376 4155. After hours you can call Lifeline's 24-hr Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 TAUTOKO (82 88 65).    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Sunday, 19th June 2016 - 1:03pm

Rights Information

This page displays a version of a article that was automatically harvested before the website closed. All of the formatting and images have been removed and some text content may not have been fully captured correctly. The article is provided here for personal research and review and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of If you have queries or concerns about this article please email us