A STAR FOR MALAITA - Solomon Star News


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19 June 2014

Solomon Star launches news magazine for province today.

THE Solomon Star newspaper will launch its first news magazine for Malaita Province today.

The full-coloured gloss magazine, to be called the Malaita Star, comes at the back of the newspaper’s recent establishment of its branch office at provincial capital Auki.

“This news magazine offers a space and forum for Malaitans to share their views and ideas on what they want for their province,” Solomon Star publisher Catherine Lamani explained.

“Malaita faces a lot of development challenges in the past 30 years,” Mrs Lamani said.

“In fact there seems to be very little or no development at all in the province. This has resulted in the mass migration of Malaitan youths to Honiara and other urban centres.

“In recent months, there have been a lot of discussions regarding the lack of development in Malaita and the uncontrollable migration of Malaitans to other provinces, especially to Honiara.

“As a newspaper, we felt that we have a role to provide Malaitans a space to share and discuss their ideas and aspirations for their province.

“This news magazine is that space,” Mrs Lamani said.

She explained the newspaper’s move to Malaita was part of the Solomon Star’s long-term provincial expansion plan.

“We have a plan in place to expand to our provincial centres.

“Auki is our first provincial office. When the right time comes, we’ll expand and establish our offices in other provinces too,” she said.

Solomon Star editor Ofani Eremae, who also edited the Malaita Star, said the first issue, which will be launched today, focused on the provincial government’s plan for the province.

“Many Malaitans didn’t know that their province has in place a highly ambitious 10-year development (2007-2017) plan that provides a road map for the province,” Mr Eremae said.

“Unfortunately, very little of that plan was implemented so far,” he added.

“Our focus on that plan in this inaugural issue is to stimulate discussions and get Malaitans to relook at how effectively they should develop their province so that it can stand on its own feet,” Mr Eremae said.

He added the news magazine also features human interest stories, and gives readers a glimpse of Malaita as a province.

“Our editorial team has decided at this stage that this news magazine will be published initially every two months. In other words, it will come out after every two months.

“In time, and as we strengthen the Auki office with staff and equipment, we will look at doing it monthly,” Mr Eremae said.

The Auki newsroom is headed by senior reporter Jeremy Inifiri.

Malaita premier Edwain Suibaea thanked the management of Solomon Star for the initiative.

He said Malaita needs investment to create jobs and other economic opportunities for its people.

“The establishment of the Solomon Star branch office will no doubt provide new job opportunities and income for the province in terms of taxes.

“That’s what this province needs,” Mr Suibaea said.

Mr Suibaea and Mrs Lamani will jointly launch the Malaita Star at Auki this morning.

The news magazine will be widely distributed across the province down to the rural areas.

The Solomon Star was established in 1982 by the late Fr. John Lamani and his wife Catherine as a weekly A4-size tabloid newspaper.

Today the paper is published seven days a week.

in Auki