Friday, September 24, 2010

Blame the PER for the Rumour Mongering in Post-Coup Fiji Stupid!

Sai's Comments:
  • What do you expect when you have stringent clamp down on news reporting in Fiji? Of course you will have an environment where any information gained about the repressive situation in Fiji will be amplified manifold taking its own momentum and semblance of accuracy and credibility.
  • Fiji Village reporters are so naive to think that Bloggers are interested in sanitising information in the interest of constructive dialogue. All we do is channel information out to those unable to access it in a mass saturation manner, with the objective of generating a reaction against the repressive regime, that has caused all the suffering to the people of Fiji.  After all, we're all operating under the same environment of limited or restricted access to news and information about the true situation in Fiji.
  • The question to ask is simply: Will all these misreporting be occurring if there were no restriction to news and information in Fiji?
  • The illegal Regime and its supporters are reaping the results of their own policy of media restrictions in Fiji. After all, what other tools or weapons do Pro-democracy groups have other than influencing the minds of people through information posted on Blogs sites. Inevitably, such a scenario will result in inaccuracies and wild distortions of the truth. Then again, the outcome we seek differs significantly than reporting in times of normalcy, where democracy exists, which is remotely the case in Fiji since the 2006 Coup.
Fiji Village News 
- 24 September 2010
Rumour mongers use blogs to spread misinformation

Story by: Vijay Narayan/Roneel Lal 
In Fiji we are all too familiar with the term "coconut wireless" and we have an affinity to spread the word but now the rumor mongers are armed with a much more dangerous tool, internet blog sites.

Over the last couple of months, these rumour mongers have stirred up a lot of talk amongst the people with farfetched and fabricated information relating to Fiji. 

Fijivillage gets numerous calls from eager blog site readers everyday who seem to believe every rumor and fabricated story being fed to them.

These blog site readers do not realize the impacts of circulating false information as a leading academic has warned that blog sites in Fiji can be dangerous and fuel racial tensions.

It has now come to the point that some people continue to believe the rumours based on the issue that they feel that the blog sites are giving accurate information with no credible sources. 

At times things get uncontrollable as the blog readers spread the rumours and expect things to happen.

What makes matters worse is that some so called credible overseas media outlets are using the blogs as their main source of information and then fuel the rumours by writing articles based on the blog information. 

Analysts say people need to realize that many of these blog sites are not following any media ethics and almost everything is based on hearsay. 

But the damage is done as some media outlets continue to use them for information.

The other issue is that some media outlets deliberately ignore the facts in relation to the situation on the ground because it would then water down their 'perfect story' from the blog. 

Emeritus professor formerly at the University of the South Pacific and political observer Crosbie Walsh told Pacific Scoop that the spread of misinformation in the post coup blogosphere continued to be a problem. 

Walsh said every day for the last week or so, we have been bombarded by destabilizing and outrageous rumours and that the mainstream media is not reporting this because no responsible media outlet would report a rumour without checking it out.

Head of journalism at the USP Shailendra Singh said this a problem and that "inflammatory statements, racial hatred, vindictiveness" can be found readily on Fijian blog sites.

Dr Walsh argued that the blogs do little to advance constructive debate around the Fiji political question.

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