TBC shake-up forces senior journalists out of newsroom to take on new roles

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Viola Ulakai Koloamatangi (L) and Laumanu Petelō

The restructuring of Tonga Broadcasting Commission (TBC) saw two top senior journalists leaving the newsroom and taking on new roles at the broadcaster.

Laumanu Petelō, the editor of TBC’s Television and Radio and Viola Ulakai, the news manager have  moved into a new department under the Commission’s marketing and sales management last week.

The shake-up had been made under the direction of TBC new board chairman Dr. Tu’i Uata who replaced ‘Ahongalu Fusimālohi last month.

Petelō, Ulakai and Uata did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

However, Kakalu ‘o Tonga editor ‘Ulu’alo Po’uhila told Kaniva News they interviewed Petelō regarding the reshuffle.

He alleged Petelō and Ulakai were not happy with the shake-up and were seeking help from ombudsman office and legal advisors.

The restructure came after Ulakai was advised to be suspended in April 2016 after Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva was disappointed to learn that she had falsely claimed that a request for a press conference to answer questions regarding his son were made on behalf of the Tonga Media Council.

In March Petelō repeatedly clashed with Hon. Pōhiva during a press conference in Nuku’alofa after the Prime Minister accused TBC for reporting negatively against his government.

The rows between the government and TBC staffers had reached boiling point after the Minister of Public Enterprises warned that the automatic renewal of its former general manager Nanisē Fifita’s contract with TBC in May was void.

The minister wanted the post to be advertised. Fifita took the minster to court but the judge ruled in favour of the government.

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  1. Kuo hoko ha fokotu’utu’u fo’ou ‘i he Komisoni Fakamafolalea Tonga ke hiki ai ha ongo faiongoongo mā’olunga mei he loki faiongoongo ki ha tipaatimeni fo’ou ‘i he fakamafola lea pe.

    Kuo ‘osi hiki ‘a Laumanu Petelō ko e ‘ētita ia ‘o e Televīsone mo e Letiō Tonga mo Viola Ualakai ko e pule ‘i he va’a ongoongo ki hona lākanga fo’ou ‘i he va’a ki he fakatau mo fakamāketi ‘i he uike kuo ‘osi.

    Ko e fehikitaki ‘eni ne fakahoko ‘i he tu’utu’uni ‘a e sea fo’ou ‘o e poate ‘a e Komisoni ko Dr Tu’i Uata ‘a ia kuo ne fetongi ‘a ‘Ahongalu Fusimālohi he māhina kuo ‘osi.

    Na’e ‘ikai ha tali mai ‘a Petelō, Uata mo Ulakai ki he’emau kole ke ‘omai ha’anau lau ‘i he taimi ne tohi ai ‘a e ongoongo ni.

    Kaekehe ne fakahā ‘e he ‘ētita ‘o e Kakalu ‘o Tonga ‘Ulu’alo Po’uhila ki he Kaniva ne nau faka’eke’eke ‘a Petelō kau ki he fokotu’utu’u fo’ou ko ‘eni.

    Na’e pehē ‘e Po’uhila ‘oku ‘ikai ke fiefia ‘a Petelō mo Ulakai ‘i he fehikitaki ni pea ‘oku na kumi tokoni tokua ki he kau fale’i fakalao mo e ‘ōfisi ‘o e ‘omipatimeni.