Report by Pacific Media Centre

Fiji’s Repúblika magazine … established in 2012 and bringing credibility back to Fiji media.

Pacific Media Centre, TJ Aumua

Monday, December 7, 2015

Fiji has gained a reputation in the South Pacific for its four military coups that have forced the media to work under restrictive conditions for the past two decades. More recently the battle for media freedom in Fiji has been against the Fiji Media Industry Development Decree 2010. The controversial and highly debated Decree threatens Fiji media with excessive fines, jail terms and places them under the surveillance of a statuary body, the Media Industry Development Authority. The impact of the Decree has led to some of Fiji’s long-established news outlets being criticised for publishing soft news that favours the government.

However, new political and current affairs magazine, Repúblika, established in 2012, has anecdotally published hard news without facing any government repercussions. Its editor and publisher, Ricardo Morris, has stated Repúblika is “pushing the boundaries” and claimed the magazine will bring “credibility back to Fiji media”. This case study analyses the editorial philosophy of Repúblika and compares it to the editorial philosophies of Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, The Fiji Times and USP student newspaper Wansolwara. This is done to seek what has enabled Repúblika to publish hard news under a military backed media decree.

This research explores what elements of Repúblika’s editorial philosophy are different to the longer-established media outlets in Fiji and whether the magazine is an example of how journalism in the island nation can be improved.

Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.