Despite a peace agreement between the government and militants, Solomon Islands broadcasters continue to work under state-of-emergency laws.
The media are prohibited from reporting freely on ethnic violence that has resulted in at least eight deaths and caused as many as 15,000 people to flee their homes.
Ironically, the news story that cannot be fully told has taken place in villages just a few kilometers from the headquarters of state-owned Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) on the island of Guadalcanal.
Despite civil unrest and government restrictions on the media, two new radio stations have recently taken to the air in Honiara, capital of Solomon Islands.
The Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) has launched Wantok FM. Wantok (literally “one talk” in the Pidgin language, meaning “people who speak our language” or “our kin”) covers mainly the capital city but also reaches portions of nearby islands.
SIBC general manager Johnson Honimae said the station is designed to appeal to youth, and was built with support from the government of Taiwan.
The other newcomer is Paoa-FM (“Power FM” in Pidgin). The station is a joint venture between a local newspaper and Communications Fiji Ltd (CFL), which runs three radio stations in Fiji and two in Papua New Guinea.