Pacific Media Watch

22 September 2016

FIJI: Tech-savvy youth challenge political elite

Hero image
A screen shot of a video posted by the Fiji Youth for Democracy Facebook page. The video was taken by Fiji youth activists who were outside the Totogo police station where the detainees were being interrogated after their arrest. The video shows supporters of those arrested singing "we shall overcome".

SUVA (Asia Pacific Report/Pacific Media Watch): Young injustice weary and tech-savvy Fijians are mobilising to question the country’s political elite.

This is according to Mereoni Chung, a founding member of Fiji Youth for Democracy.

Chung reported that the political crackdown of six-prominent figures in Fiji this month which, sparked international debates of freedom of expression, is a “form of democracy” many young Fijians are growing up with.

But by using social media youth are able to play an active role in politics which enables them to voice their concerns and opinions to an international audience.

“Crackdowns on political dissent in Fiji are not new but more young Fijians are now armed with smartphones. In this information age of scrolling newsfeeds and viral hashtags, politically active young Fijians tweeted #FijiCrackdown and live-streamed their political views across leadership barriers and international boundaries.”

The article mentioned the deteriorating relationship between Fiji’s politicians is increasing youth interest in politics.

“The apathy that old actors claim of young Fijians towards politics is misplaced. Often it is founded on older players’ inability to post a tweet, or to summon the powers of a hashtag.”

Read the full story on Asia Pacific Report.

Mereoni Chung is completing a Masters in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development at Australian National University. She has worked as the project support officer for the Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) and a young women’s officer at the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM). She is also a founding member of Fiji Youth for Democracy.

Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3

Pacific Media Watch

PMC's media monitoring service

Pacific Media Watch is compiled for the Pacific Media Centre as a regional media freedom and educational resource by a network of journalists, students, stringers and commentators. (cc) Creative Commons