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The St Helena report and the gap in media

State-funded paper won’t be controlled from The Castle, says founder – as Independent announces closure (updated Tuesday 27 March 2012)

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The announcement that the St Helena Independent is to close on Friday, citing government-funded competition – has prompted strong reactions. Read comments here.

So far, however – because of personal pressures – this website has not carried any response from the organisation behind the government-subsidised St Helena Sentinel, which launches on the same day.

However, the St Helena Herald carried an interview with founder John Styles shortly before that paper closed down on 9 March 2012. It’s on page 22, on this link.

In the article, Mr Styles is asked whether the newspaper will be “run by government”. He replies:

Most definitely not. Some commentators have suggested this, citing the fact that a government subsidy will be required (although it is hoped to reduce this over time).

However it is wrong and misleading to suggest that this will result in government control. The new media organisation is owned by the independent voluntary sector. It has a board made up of senior representatives of the voluntary sector and a CEO who is a member of the board. It is totally independent of government.

Our mission is “to enrich people’s lives with media services that inform, entertain and educate”.

And our core values are, “on behalf of the community, to cherish and preserve the media’s independence from the state, its impartiality and professionalism, and its honesty and integrity.”

“I laughed so much I nearly choked” – read John Turner’s reaction to this story on his St Helena blog, Random Thoughts from Offshore 

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