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Tuning in: Does TV news influence the political process in Fiji?

Volume 13, Issue 2

September, 2007

From page
77
to page
93
Hermanson, Dale. (2007). Tuning in: Does TV news influence the political process in Fiji? Pacific Journalism Review, 13(2): 77-93.
Author(s): Dale Hermanson
Publication date: 
September, 2007

Local television news programmes in Fiji have been the most watched programmes for the entire 13-year history of broadcast television in the country. Although survey polls consistently show that television news is extremely popular, the influence it may have due to its popularity has not previously been investigated. This article is based on a study examining the influence that television news programmes have on communities in Fiji. The study shows that the influence of TV news is complex and is interwoven with cultural, economic and political contexts. Findings for the study indicate television news is not only an influential source of information, but that it is also an agenda setter for Fiji public opinion. The research conducted indicates that television news influenced people in Fiji before the 2006 general election. While this influence did not necessarily change the way people voted, it may have helped set the political agenda. Television news may not only be informing the public about forces that shape their lives, but it may be a shaping force itself.