Saturday, September 11, 2021

Two decades on from 9/11 and a Pacific newsroom sense of dread

Reflections on 9/11 from a Fiji newsroom ... warnings about scapegoats and the media.
IMAGE: Al Jazeera screenshot APR

FLASHBACK TO 9/11: By David Robie

WHEN I arrived at my office at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji on the morning of 12 September 2001 (9/11, NY Time), I was oblivious to reality.

I had dragged myself home to bed a few hours earlier at 2am as usual, after another long day working on our students’ Wansolwara Online website providing coverage of the Fiji general election.

One day after being sworn in as the country’s fifth real (elected) prime minister, it seemed that Laisenia Qarase was playing another dirty trick on Mahendra Chaudhry’s Labour Party, which had earned the constitutional right to be included in the multi-party government supposed to lead the country back to democracy.

Stepping into my office, I encountered a colleague. He looked wild-eyed and said: “It’s the end of the world.”

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