WITH less than a year left for Fiji’s 2018 general election, registered political parties are whole-heartedly embracing a new weapon to take their message to voters – the social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Here the message can be given out freely.
There is no need to worry about a skewed or no publication at all in the mainstream media. In the 2014 general election, political parties had only embraced social media usage and its impact on the voting pattern hadn’t been thoroughly researched. It’s looking different for 2018. With opposition political parties still believing that portions of Fiji’s media are controlled and being restrictive in their reporting, it’s the social media platforms that have ignited the thought process and debates in the lead up to the 2018 polls.
The final report of the Multinational Observer Group on the 2014 general election noted “there were complaints of media restrictions from some parties, highlighting the threat of penalties under the Media Industry Development Decree 2010.” The MIDA decree remains in place and it’s likely similar complaints will crop up again.
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