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Constitution-making in a stifled democracy: A case study of self-censorship perpetuating propaganda in Fiji

Volume 19, Issue 1

May, 2013

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Bhim, Mosmi (2013). Constitution-making in a stifled democracy: A case-study of self-censorship perpetuating propaganda in Fiji. Pacific Journalism Review, 19(1), 167-184.
Media and democracy in the Pacific
Author(s): Mosmi Bhim
Publication date: 
May, 2013

Fiji is preparing for general elections in 2014 by when the country will have been under military rule for eight years. A process of constitution-making began in mid-2012 and a new Constitution should be available by 2013. Citizens and the media continue to practise self-censorship and the military regime continues to remind citizens that they would crack down harshly on ‘trouble-makers’. In the same breath, the regime has promised the international community that the process for constitution-making will be free, fair, participatory and transparent. This article, through analysis of media reporting, will examine whether current self-censorship by media is aiding the constitution-making process, and if indeed, self-censorship is promoting peace? Through an analysis of the work of the Constitution Commission, the article will analyse the extent of participation of citizens in the context of a stifled democracy.