|February 7, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|WASHINGTON, D.C.—LOCAL EFFORTS UNDERWAY TO BRING NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO TO AMERICAN SAMOA|
| Congressman Faleomavaega is pleased
to announce that he is supporting local efforts to bring National Public
Radio to American Samoa.
“Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act authorizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1967. National Public Radio was founded shortly thereafter in 1970 with 90 public radio stations,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “Today, NPR has 620 member stations, and we are encouraged that American Samoa may become the base for this service in the South Pacific.”
“Reverend Randy English and his wife, Sharon, have been instrumental in putting together a grant application that would fund the construction of a public radio station in American Samoa,” the Congressman said. “The two were also gracious enough to incorporate my suggestion of constructing the facility at the American Samoa Community College. If funded, ASCC will be the beneficiary of more than $260,000.”
“The money will be used primarily to purchase broadcasting equipment,” the Congressman continued. “The money will also be used to build a production studio at ASCC. Needless to say, this on-campus radio station will open up new avenues for students wishing to pursue degrees in journalism and public broadcasting.”
“The establishment of National Public Radio
in American Samoa will also offer the residents of our Territory access
to information that will promote community growth and development,” Congressman
Faleomavaega said. “In 1999 and by way of a Congressional directive,
the U.S. Secretary of the Interior established an Economic
“Survey results were compiles and published in November of 2000. Survey results show that there is strong agreement (83.1%) that development information should be disseminated to educate and inform the public. In fact, more than 67.5% of respondents felt that the local government does not provide the public with enough information on economic development. More than 56.3% of the community felt that development information was privileged and inadequate,” the Congressman said.
“In round-table discussions, many participants noted that there was also a deficiency in education programs and made reference to Western Samoa’s weekly agricultural programs where farmers are encouraged to set up and maintain their own farms, crops, etc.,” the Congressman continued. “There was also notable concern that school curriculum was limited to general education. The majority of respondents felt that increased emphasis should be placed on vocational education and extension-related activities that promote community growth and development.”
“There was also a general sense of concern (76.3%) that the community is shifting away from the extended family system and, as such, there was overwhelming support 978.5%) for the idea that Samoan culture should be considered in context of community development,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “It was also noted by 62.8% of respondents that rural areas and outer islands were not receiving fair and equitable access to resources and service.”
“Survey results indicate that the people of American Samoa have a strong belief and interest in the future development of their homeland. However, given the remote geographic distance of American Samoa and its limited infrastructure, there is widespread concern that access to information is more private than public,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“Given these concerns, it is fair to say that American Samoa desperately needs a public radio station. This is why I want to commend Reverend Randy English and his family for initiating a grant application that would pay for the construction of non-commercial FM station and which would establish National Public Radio programming in the Territory.”
Reverend English is the director of PIBS, a non-profit foundation which was established in the Territory in 1993. Mr. English has 9 years of media experience in producing educational broadcast programs for use throughout Pacific Island countries, including American Samoa, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
“Mr. English has agreed to provide station management on a non-compensated basis. PIBS has also assembled an advisory team of the most experienced broadcast personnel in public radio and has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ASCC to see this project to its fruition,” Congressman Faleomavaega said.
“I am pleased that Reverend English was willing to work with my office to include ASCC in this project,” the Congressman continued. “There is no doubt in my mind that ASCC is the most ideal place to house public radio in American Samoa.”
“I want to commend Dr. Adele Satele-Galea’i, President of ASCC, for joining with us in this effort. I also want to thank her for her leadership and initiative. I am confident that under her guidance, our college will continue to provide new opportunities for our students to excel and compete in the global marketplace.”
“To ensure that the station has adequate funding
to meet expected start-up expenses, I am committed to continuing my efforts
to seek additional funding for this project. I am also committed
to ensuring that everyone in American Samoa has access to National Public
Radio,” the Congressman concluded.
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