Fiji newspapers, beat-ups and speculation
We are being manipulated by the media, by army and government handouts. Journalists write stories of half-truths, lies, and exaggerations. Even when they apologize the next day or week, they have already caused some anxiety in the readers – whether in Fiji or overseas.
An Australian was on the phone to me yesterday very worried about Fiji because he had read in an Australian paper that the army commander was making threats against the government again.
I said to him, ‘That’s typical talk from Fiji now. It’s been going on since Qarase won the election. It goes quiet then there’s barking again.’
Maybe the army want recognition and to be noticed. Maybe it’s a tactic to be on the front page. Or, they don’t know what is the right procedure. Or, they have a good point in what they are saying about the proposed bills.
While I was staying in Fiji I learnt a new vocabulary from ordinary people. The word 'coup-taka'. People used it often about family troubles, about village disputes, trouble in the work, in the community, about chiefly titles. And now someone might say they want to 'coup-taka' the government. That means to do a coup.
The word coup is even used a lot in Australia – about someone offering to sell a property on the Gold Coast for $600,000 and then a very rich person came along and offered $3 million. You can ‘coup’ by giving big money. It's a money coup.
Now, the newspapers love this kind of talk and speculation. Fiji stories are reduced to one paragraph when they go overseas, and people here such as my Australian friend thinks there’s trouble brewing in Fiji!
Even academics such as Dr Brij Lal write something after a newspaper report that Bainimarama is threatening the government again.
Military tactics wrong: academic
Wednesday October 18, 2006
Fiji academic Dr Brij Lal says the military's tactics of force and intimidation against the Government will bring nothing but instability to the country. His comments follow army commander Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama's three week ultimatum to Government to either get rid of controversial Bills or resign.
"The controversial Bills issue should be brought to Parliament, which is currently being revised and after looking at the changes then give our views," he said. One in Parliament, Lal said the Bills should be discussed and debated honestly.
"We can't be kicking dust and say we can't see," he said. He said it is our responsibility to respect the verdict of the ballot box....
My opinion is that the military would not be so foolish to do this, and the newspaper beat-ups are very bad. So how can we control the media from adding fuel and anxiety to people?
Fiji is a small country and needs order and respect and not just the newspapers blowing up stories. There is so often judging by the media instead of looking at the details of a topic.
What do you think?