Newspaper sacks senior and prominent journalist
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN
ISLAND Sun newspaper on Friday sacked its most senior and prominent journalist Alfred Sasako.
The paper took the decision amidst calls from critics and social media commentators for Sasako’s removal.
It’s not clear last night the basis for Island Sun’s decision.
But a company spokesman said:
“….yes, I can confirm that Sasako has been terminated effective as of today by the management.
“Details and the basis for his termination are in the letter he was issued.”
It’s understood the paper’s management gave Sasako only hours to pack up and leave its premises by 5 pm.
Sasako is one of the country’s most experienced journalists who had serve both here and abroad.
He had previously worked in Papua New Guinea before relocating to Australia to work for the Australian Associated Press (AAP).
From Australia, he moved to Fiji to be the media adviser for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
After serving the Forum for six years, he returned and was elected by the people of East Kwaio to be their MP for two consecutive terms.
Sasako confirmed his sacking to the Solomon Star last night.
“I was a bit surprise by the newspaper’s action, but that’s their decision,” Sasako said.
He added one of the reasons given for his termination was a claim that he was luring reporters of the newspaper to leave.
“But that was just not true,” Sasako said.
The Solomon Star understands Island Sun has been under pressure for sometimes to remove Sasako amidst highly charged and often “unbalance” news reports he normally produced.
Social media commentators have always been critical of news articles Sasako produced, with some saying they are no longer taking Sasako’s articles seriously.
On Friday, a youth leader Keyon Ronia went on social media to appeal to youths in Honiara not to take Sasako seriously.
He claimed whatever news articles Sasako produced nowadays lacked credibility because they were based on false information.