A crucible for bottom-up regionalism? The digital renaissance

West Papuan media suppression and social media in the Pacific

  • Jason Titifanue The University of the South Pacific; La Trobe University
  • Romitesh Kant The University of the South Pacific; La Trobe University
  • Glenn Finau University of New South Wales
Keywords: bottom-up regionalism, censorship, digital politics, Melanesia, Pacific regionalism, West Papua, social media

Abstract

Commentary: West Papua has one of the most repressive media landscapes in the world. Consequently, West Papuans have increasingly harnessed social media platforms to broadcast human rights violations committed in West Papua. Through this, Pacific Islanders around the region are increasingly leveraging social media as a political tool for showing solidarity and support for West Papuans. As a result, in recent years there has been a regional groundswell in support for West Papuan demands for self-determination, with prominent political figures such as Peter O’Neill of Papua New Guinea, and Gordon Darcy Lilo alluding to the awareness on West Papuan issues that have been raised through social media. This commentary explores how the rise of West Papua solidarity, is resulting in a heightened Pacific regional consciousness at the community level.

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Author Biographies

Jason Titifanue, The University of the South Pacific; La Trobe University
  1. Assistant Lecturer, University of the South Pacific (USP).
  2. Development Leadership Program (DLP) Research Associate.
  3. Honorary Research Associate with Institute of Human Security and Social Change, La Trobe University.
Romitesh Kant, The University of the South Pacific; La Trobe University
  1. Assistant Lecturer, University of the South Pacific (USP).
  2. Development Leadership Program (DLP) Research Associate.
  3. Honorary Research Associate with Institute of Human Security and Social Change, La Trobe University.
Glenn Finau, University of New South Wales
  1. PhD Candidate: University of New South Wales
  2. Development Leadership Program (DLP) Research Associate.
  3. Honorary Research Associate with Institute of Human Security and Social Change, La Trobe University.

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MMFF
Published
31-07-2020
How to Cite
TitifanueJ., KantR., & FinauG. (2020). A crucible for bottom-up regionalism? The digital renaissance: West Papuan media suppression and social media in the Pacific . Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 26(1), 140-147. https://doi.org/10.24135/pjr.v26i1.1079