Savea Sano Malifa

International Press Institute Index on Censorship Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

Savea Sano Malifa (also known as Fata Sano Malifa) is a Samoan poet, journalist, newspaper editor, and publisher. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Samoa Observer, the main newspaper in Samoa.[1] He is the author of the novel Alms for Oblivion. The Pacific Islands News Association awarded him the Pacific Freedom of Information award for defending the right of the Samoan people to freedom of information and expression. In 1998, he received the Commonwealth Press Union's Astor Award and Index on Censorship's Press Freedom Award.

Savea, an outspoken critic of former Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana and his government, lost a civil claim over a story alleging the use of public funds to upgrade a hotel owned by Tofilau's children for a visit by Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. The Samoa Observer was ordered to pay $WS 75,000 in court costs to Tofilau and $50,000 damages for defamation.[2]

In 2000, Malifa was named as one of the International Press Institute's 50 World Press Freedom Heroes of the past 50 years.[3]

Appeal to remove media restrictions

During the 2004 World Press Freedom Day awards, along with veteran reporter Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, Malifa made appeals to the government to remove restrictions; they urged Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi and Deputy Prime Minister Misa Telefoni to remove the Printing and Publishing Act, to try to force news media to reveal their sources of information and remove the criminal libel laws, which Autagavaia had described as a relic of the past.[4]


  1. ^ Stanley, David (1999). Tonga-Samoa Handbook. David Stanley. p. 112. ISBN 1-56691-174-5.
  2. ^ "Judge awards damages against Samoa Observer". Pacific Media Watch. 21 September 1998. Retrieved 13 November 2009.
  3. ^ "World Press Freedom Heroes: Symbols of courage in global journalism". International Press Institute. 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  4. ^ Portal Samoa's Leaders Receive World Press Freedom Day 2004 Awards 06-05-2004