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Fiji media blamed for fall of democracy

August 22, 2012 7:34 pm

The Fiji media shares the blame for the collapse of democracy in 2000 – which also led to many people accepting the coup.

This is the view of political commentator Thakur Ranjit Singh, who’s written several papers on the media and says there’s been a major shift in reporting in recent years.

A former Fiji resident with a masters in communication studies who now lives in New Zealand, Singh studied the Fiji media for over a year.

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“The media was fanning their racial hatred, that’s why that when, on the 19th of May 2000, when Speight staged the coup, there was no public outcry in favour of democracy, because people had been brainwashed that that was a government that deserved to go, irrespective of how it came into power.”

But since 2006, and restrictions imposed under the Public Emergency Regulations- Singh says better reporting has emerged.

If it wasn’t for the controls and the push for the media to get away from the racial conflict and other conflict srories, we wouldn’t see all those good stories coming out of village’s, how people are struggling, how they sweated to make sure that their children graduated, the people stories.

Singh believes to improve local reporting, real efforts must be put in to schools that groom journalists, and news editors and journalist themselves need to be more responsible.

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