Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

Journalism's Future ... Now

The Mānoa Mirror

West Seeks Dominion Over Pacific Islands’ Media

The Recolonization of the Pacific
From+left%3A+Lubna+Jerar+Naqvi%2C+Howie+Severino%2C+Chi+Dong+Lee%2C+Derek+Wallbank%2C+Rihoko+Akiyama%2C+and+Kalafi+Moala+speak+on+the+trends+and+concerns+in+The+Pacific
Emma Caires
From left: Lubna Jerar Naqvi, Howie Severino, Chi Dong Lee, Derek Wallbank, Rihoko Akiyama, and Kalafi Moala speak on the trends and concerns in The Pacific

Out of the closing panel of the International Media Conference in Manila titled “The last word – Regional journalist roundtable” comes an opinion from Tonga: Western control of the Pacific is coming quickly, and its first target is the media.

The panel focused on trends and challenges for the media in the Asia-Pacific region, and panelist Kalafi Moala stood strong in claiming that controlling media is the first step in controlling society – a fate he is concerned Tonga will fall victim to.

“I see a new search for control coming into our region and it comes in the form of controlling media and money,” warned Moala, Editor of Talanaoa ‘O Tonga News.

Moala believes that in controlling the media, those in power will be able to shift the widespread narrative in important areas including politics, economics, and social issues. Despite the slight decline in trust in the media over recent years, it still has the power to influence an entire community’s mindset, Moala said.

“There’s a tremendous challenge that we’re facing and I call it the challenge of others coming into our regions seeking control of our story,” Moala said. “They want to control what is priority, control what is important to us.”

Moala coins this process as a “recolonization” in the sense that if there’s enough money and manipulation in the mix, there will be no need to conquer to win power because the control of these marginalized communities will already be obtained.

Another concern for Moala is the lack of cultural accuracy and knowledge that comes with an indigenous country being controlled by the West. The fear that even in today’s day and age, an entire community and way of life can be pushed to the side to make room for westernized ideologies is a scary thought indeed.

“What we don’t need is someone else coming in thinking they know better and making decisions for us,” Moala said. “We need our voices heard. We need our stories and we need our people.”

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Emma Caires
Emma Caires, Contributor
Aloha! My name is Emma Caires, and I am an incoming senior journalism major at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. I thoroughly enjoy expanding my range in journalism by reporting on a variety of events regarding our campus and students, but my favorite area, as of right now, is feature writing, specifically human-interest stories. I’m looking forward to further immersing myself in campus life and knowledge through this program.

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