Slider
Slider

|

Slider

FSM expresses concern about Guam media reports

Regional News
Typography
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services) — During the week of Aug. 10 to 14, 2020, and on or around Aug. 17, 2020, the government of the Federated States of Micronesia became aware of a series of news articles reported across the U.S. Territory of Guam’s various outlets regarding Guam’s recent surge in Covid-19 cases.

Many of these articles, sourced from print, radio, television, and online news sources, allege that recent upticks in Guam’s cases are a result from FSM citizens and nationals avoiding Guam’s Covid-19 guidelines while engaging in traditional cultural practices such as funeral ceremonies.

Approximately 10% of Guam’s residential population are migrants from the FSM, and the FSM national government appreciates that the activities of FSM citizens on Guam is a matter of interest to the people and government of Guam.

 The FSM national government takes issue, however, when media outlets specify individual Micronesian ethnic groups in their reporting, on the premises that such categorization ultimately erodes public trust and undermines the FSM national government’s capacity to effectively serve its citizens abroad.

The bulk of the media reporting mentioned above references, either directly or indirectly, both an event on Aug. 8, 2020, and potentially confidential information from the Guam Department of Public Health & Social Services.

The Aug. 8, 2020, event is with regards to the FSM Consulate on Guam’s “Virtual Village Meeting: Navigating the Micronesian Experience on Guam,” in partnership with the FSM Association of Guam.

In a video, Teresa Filepin, consul general of the FSM in Guam, calls for the entire Micronesian community on Guam to follow the government of Guam’s Covid-19 guidelines. The video may be found on the FSM Association of Guam’s Facebook Page, here:  https://www.facebook.com/FSMCommunityCorp

To the knowledge of the FSM national government, the Guam Department of Public Health & Social Services — for statistical purposes, so as to lead to effective decision-making by Guam’s leadership—  may find it appropriate to categorize specific Micronesian ethnic groups in its non-public reporting to decision-makers.

The FSM national government respects that data are segregated this way to produce valuable information to leadership.

Conversely, the FSM national government humbly encourages media entities acquiring this data and reporting on it to aggregate it.

Whether a citizen of the FSM residing in Guam is Yapese (including Ulithian and Satawalese et al.), Chuukese (including Mortlockese and Polowatese et al.), Pohnpeian (including Kapingese and Pingelapese et al.), or Kosraean, the FSM national government urges media entities to refer to all of us as Micronesian.

“This is the third time the media has misreported and misrepresented my statements,” Consul General Filepin said in a statement. “All three times our Chuukese community was the target. I never singled out our Chuukese community, but because media reporting has done so — and in a manner that suggests I singled them out — both myself and the consulate are receiving countless hate-filled messages and calls; this includes threats to our professional and personal safety. This is producing a disruptive and counter-productive effect on the consulate’s ability to do the work necessary to support our citizens residing in Guam.”

In addition to requesting Guam-based media organizations to refrain from singling out specific ethnic groups within the larger Micronesian population, the FSM national government further requests its citizens to be mindful of the information they receive and to consider tempering their immediate emotional response to a given headline before reacting. Media organizations are a crucial component of a free and democratic society, but the responsibility of interpreting the information presented in whole, considering its accuracy or potential bias, rests with the person reading the article.

The FSM national government extends its appreciation to the people and government of Guam for their hospitality to FSM citizens who call the island home. The FSM government recognizes that media organizations strive to provide accurate, verifiable, and credible information to its consumers. Recognizing the unintended but nonetheless cascading negative effects of categorizing groups of people should likewise be an area of equal consideration in said media reporting.

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider

Read more articles

Visit our Facebook Page

previous arrow
next arrow
Shadow
Slider