Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has applauded Samoa's latest media freedom ranking in the Asia Pacific Region released this week.
The 2017 Reporters Without Borders (R.W.B.), or Reporters Sans Frontières (R.S.F.) World Press Freedom index ranks Samoa at 21st place, up eight places from its 29th ranking in 2016.
It’s an achievement which has not gone unnoticed by the Prime Minister.
"The improved ranking reaffirms that media press freedom remains respected and revered in Samoa," said Tuilaepa.
"It also vindicates Samoa from suggestions by our so-called international and local critics that our media is oppressed and at the same time reaffirms that democracy is very much alive in Samoa.
"I would be remiss in failing to acknowledge the contribution by our media practitioners for a job well done.
“But by the same token, I urge the media in Samoa not to be complacent as there is always room for improvement.
"For those who perpetually get my occasional short jabs, remember that I always love you all. It's my way of encouraging beauty - I believe that all those with bad intentions look very sickly and ugly."
Tonga is the next Pacific Island country on the list, coming in at 49th place.
New Zealand is ranked 13th with Australia at 19th place.
The United States of America is 43rd in the world ranking.