Iconic Tongan publisher Kalafi Moala eyes new digital media challenge


Tongan journalist, publisher and broadcaster Kalafi Moala talks to Pacific Media Watch project’s Sri Krishnamurthi. Video: Sri Krishnamurthi/Blessen Tom

By Sri Krishnamurthi

After 30 years as chief editor and publisher of Tonga’s flagship Taimi ‘o Tonga newspaper, the iconic Pacific media personality Kalafi Moala has sold his business and is looking to move on.

He plans to explore greenfield operations in Tonga in the digital era by presenting news through a mobile phone platform.

“I want to be engaged in something where we continue to produce news and maybe deliver news in a different platform maybe online, digital or maybe something to do with the phone,” he said in a recent interview with the Pacific Media Centre in Auckland.

WATCH: The interview with Kalafi Moala

“Who needs a newspaper, who needs a television set, who needs a computer when you have a telephone, in Tonga everybody has a telephone.

“The mobile phone is a major thing that has changed the life of Tongans and we want to use that platform.”

Moala expressed his concerns too about the “sovereignty” of Pacific peoples who he said were being subjected to “colonisation through other means”.

He has sold his publishing and broadcast business Taimi Media Network to enterprising businessman Tausinga Taumoefolau and his company Keitahi Limited.

Moala spoke to the PMC’s Pacific Media Watch freedom project as part of a series of interviews for a forthcoming mini-documentary, Pacific Media Watch – The Genesis.

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