So we were a tad bit concerned when we spotted this news item reporting that Fiji Times Editor, Netani Rika was arrested today. Because of the media black-out all we can do is hope that the international media will now step in and help domestic comrades of the fourth estate and continue to keep the military junta’s feet to the fire with the hard questions and the true news.
In the meantime we urge you to stay strong Netani and all other freedom loving 4th Estaters.
However as we predicted, while the military junta tries to control news content one thing that they can NOT control is the internet medium. Hello blogosphere. We therefore welcome “Coup Four and a Half” to the blogging community.
It is appropriate therefore that we try to assess why there are such intense attempts to censor the media.
To do that we begin by going back to the Rabuka Chronicles or his “No Other Way” steps to dealing with the media.
Our view is that this time around Bainimarama is aware that the mood of the people in this country will not be as acquiescent in comparison to 6/12. So in their true hearts and minds fashion, they will label every piece of news that does not support them as inciteful (big word there Leweni, sure you know what it means?).
But the real intent is to clamp down and ensure that small pockets of opposition do not become public information in case other people in the country decide to support it and hey presto we have a big protest against being robbed of the right to live in a free and democratic society en masse.
Unfortunately by picking up Rabuka’s tips from ’87 and trying to control the media, the media houses defiance today will instead inspire many others to also stand up and oppose the military junta.
Yes they’re still amateurs. That is why they will continue to be out-done, out-gunned, out-flanked, out-maneuvered and out-numbered.
Individuals, groups and the blogosphere are next. Just like before. Be ready, learn from the past and anticipate their next steps.