Friday, March 25, 2011

Fiji Bloggers: Men with Letters or No Letters - Does it Really Matter?

Many bloggers came and went post 2006 coup in Fiji. Why we ask ourselves? Is it because of the intimidating tactics taken by this current regime under Bainimarama or have these bloggers just could not be bothered anymore?

Its a point of interest to all those who are blogging about Fiji 'pro & against' that Croshbie Walsh, a well known blogger on Fiji as well p
ost 2006 coup. He is also one, we might add is listed or has listed himself and his blog as 'pro-2006 Coup'. Thats good to know! We found an article that Cros had written and we would like to just give our readers some pointers that may be of interest.

The article authored by Crosbie Walsh, Adjunct professor, University of the South Pacific and editorial by his 'bed-blogger mate' David Robbie.

The book is titled, 'Pacific Journalism Review' with a wide range of topics written by different people with perhaps Journalism background. One of those we are familiar with besides the two already mentioned is Michael Field and he happens to be rated as 'Anti Anti'. (Thank you Michael for standing with us!).

Anyway, without going into too much details of 'whos who'
in the contributor's list we will try and unearth for you in layman's term, as 'we are men/women minus those ?? letters' of what we think Crosbie Walsh is trying to present in his article.

In short, Crosbie Walsh's title reads, quote, "Political Blogs on Fiji: A 'cyberbernet democracy' case study." In his description, Walsh states, quote;

"Political blogging in politically unstable and repressive countries has been seen as a cybernet democracy. This research artcile examines this claim post-coup
Fiji in the wake of the 2006 military takeover, details the author's experience with blogging, comments on the Fiji blogosphere in a climate of conflict, an attempts of an analysis of the overall pro and anti-government blog landscape that involves more than 70 political blogs. Unlike earlier published research on Fiji blogs, it is an 'insider' view, written by an academic, who is also a blog publisher-publishing, Fiji As It Was, Is and Can Be (FAIW)." unquote.


A quick glance at this article gives a reader that Walsh appears to have approach the topic from a very balanced perspective. Wait, theres more; as we read through chapeter by chapter, there are hints of where Walsh's allegiance lies. It is cleverly embedded in his writing and one which we think will come back and haunt him somewhere down the track. Why we think this way, you might ask? Well, we just feel, Walsh overtime has been like a chameleon which has changed colours several times since post December 2006 coup. Initially he was beating the drums that Bainimarama, the dictator, had done the right thing for Fiji. Approximately 05 years down the track, his blog has been watered down and Walsh has tried to add a different dimension to his blogs but the underlying message is still the same.

In his analysis Walsh has slotted bloggers into six (06) categories of which he tags;
1) Pro, 2)Pro to Neutral, 3)Neutral, 4)Neutral to Anti, 5)Anti, 6)Very Anti

In the order:
1) [4] Real Fiji News, Fiji Freedom Fighters, IGFiji, WhyFijisCryingNot
2) [3] Stuck in the Mud, Fiji As It Was, Is Can Be (Crosbie
Walsh's blog), Loyal Fijian
3) [1] Cafe Pacific (David Robbie)
4) [11] Coup Four Point Five, Fiji Coup, Victor Lal, Global Voice Online, Fiji Today, Yellow Bucket, Whale Oil Gotcha, FijiBoard of Exiles, [Mainly Social - Babasiga, WotNews, Fiji Voices]
5) [34 but only 17 listed] Fiji Today, Luvei Viti, Ms vakivosavosa, Fijicoup2006, CorruptionFighter Fiji, FijiNews, Solivakasama, RealFijianNews, HydenCreek, TredesAbuse, Jokes on the Junta, Fiji Uncensored, Fijinews uncensored, FijiBlog Dump
6) [19] Solivakasama, Michael Field, DiscombulatedBubu, Fiji Democracy Movement, Na Dina (Fiji Truth), Raw Fiji News, Fiji Girl, Solivakasama Worldwide, Tears for Fiji,
Teejayfor Free Fiji, ThinkslmThinkinbout, Partial social Community, Matavuvale.....others listed but have stop publishing-FijiMurdering soldiers, FreeMyFiji, ResistFranksCoup, FijiShameList, Why Fiji is Crying, i Taukei,

The above will give you our readers a great indicator of what Walsh has researched and added in the wanted list. What we are unsure of is the weighting given to each in the list given which have made Walsh to place those blogs to those categories listed from 1-6. (6 being the Anti Anti)!!

Another aspect we picked up from briefly reading the artcle that Walsh has labelled those authors of the above blogs as being 'men without letters'!! We wondered whether Walsh was using himself as a benchmark seeing he is as he describes himself an Adjunct professor at USP, Fiji.

For sure, Walsh has to give himself a 'plug' other
wise he does not get any glory or so we think.

This is a point of interest to us
: "men without letters"
!! Why did Walsh use this term? Was he being uptish or upstart about these labels? Or was he just being arrogant because he can claim to have letters whilst others cannot as per what he has articulated? In essence, we thought this term was uncalled for to be used by an academic who knows fully well that most bloggers are 'free-lance' writers, academic or without academic, journos or not journos, media or not media and the list goes on. Was this another classic example of self-serving individualism in play?

All in all, we will leave you our readers to judge for yourselves and make up your own minds.
Luvei Viti Think Tank Forum.

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