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The Fiji Times at 150: Imagining the Fijian Nation (Or, A Scrapbook of Fiji's History)

Subramani , Anurag (2021) The Fiji Times at 150: Imagining the Fijian Nation (Or, A Scrapbook of Fiji's History). The Fiji Times Limited , Hong Kong. ISBN 978-982-201-025-1

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The Fiji Times began in September 1869, declaring it would provide “interesting news” for planters and “correct intelligence” on local subjects of importance. Anurag Subramani has ploughed through every page since and presents the history of Fiji through headlines and major stories but also the fascinating personal and local details often buried on page three or page five. Although initially a newspaper for and about Europeans in Fiji, as Anurag notes, it later reported events affecting the diverse community scattered about the archipelago. The early chapters provide a narrative of struggles to establish a distribution network, expanding to Samoa, becoming financially viable and recognising the importance of support from the Crown Colony government. Anurag lets the pages of The Fiji Times speak out telling the story by directly quoting from the paper’s columnists, editors, and letters to the editor. Anurag suggests The Fiji Times played a crucial role over the last hundred years by “opening conversations about the nature of governance and nationhood”. There is so much to enjoy here: the “wonderful pig Judy” at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, a mud-slinging affair in the streets between rival editors of the Fiji Argus and The Fiji Times, sports, theatre news, festivals, the unprecedented sales to mark the passing of Ratu Lala Sukuna in 1958, the switch to including photographs, the takeover of The Fiji Times by Robson, the 1920 general strike and the 1959 Wholesale and General Retail Workers Union strike, the visit of Queen Elizabeth, and potentially a book of their own, the advertisements for motion pictures and the “Moonshine Native String Band.” An editorial in the issue of January 16, 1930, highlighted “the constant danger to pedestrians from erratically driven motor vehicles.” Another feature has been the long-running column, “Flotsam & Jetsam – by Man on the Beach”. The Fiji Times continues to offer interesting news and correct intelligence, as well as being a watchdog, and guardian of truth in reporting. This is a history of Fiji, seen through the lens of a newspaper, but also a history of newspapers and journalism, and above all a record of the changes that have occurred in Fiji since 1869.

Item Type: Book
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
Divisions: School of Law and Social Sciences (SoLaSS)
Depositing User: Anurag Subramani
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2021 01:13
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2022 00:21

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