Return of the cyber oaf: Terry Tavita ( Photo: Samoan Government)

Academic and media circles in Fiji and the rest of the region are abuzz with gossip and speculation following our latest postings on the demotion of Dr Marc Edge as Head of Journalism at the University of the South Pacific. Of special interest is the leaked correspondence from the Deputy Vice Chancellor of USP, Dr Esther Williams, telling Dr Edge’s immediate superior, Professor Sudesh Mishra, that Dr Edge’s behaviour is seriously damaging the reputation of the USP.

The Pacific media luvvies don’t post their comments publicly but on closed Google Groups like the following. But below is a sample of what’s being said in a five-way cyber conversation between the Samoan oaf, Tupuola Terry Tavita, Marc Edge himself, Cooks Islands-born Lisa Williams-Lihari, Dennis Rounds from the Australian High Commission in Suva and Australian academic Dr Mark Hayes. All good fun. We’ll keep updating the exchanges as they come to hand.

Marc Edge appears to out himself as the phantom emailer “Truncated Lounge”, who parodies Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Information, Sharon Smith Johns, and Grubsheet in an occasional mail-out called “Shazzer and Grubby”. All good fun again, though somewhat reckless given Mad Marc’s tenuous grip on both reality and his job. Anyway, read on…

From: mediafreedom@googlegroups.com [mailto:mediafreedom@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Lisa Williams-Lahari
Sent: Friday, 16 November 2012 10:29 a.m.
To: mediafreedom@googlegroups.com; Pacific Islands Journos Online
Subject: [PFF] Grubsheet leaks the internal USP memo

Tupuola and all,

http://www.grubsheet.com.au/?p=3694  shows the correspondance from Esther Williams and the response from Sudesh Mishra.

My question as a journalist would be– upon what is she basing her view that Marc Edge is harming the reputation of the USP? Has anyone asked her? And what is the nature of the regime complaint to the university. Surely this should form the news focus of any journalist chasing up the story— rather than adding to the smoke and bulldust, the search for cold hard facts should drive newshounds mad for the truth in this matter….that surely serves the public interest.

go for it gang! bylines and all!!


On Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 10:20 AM, Marc Edge <marcedge@hotmail.com> wrote:
I wouldn’t think so.

Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 13:20:07 -0800
From: terrytavita@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: [PFF] Re: [pacific-journos] Re: Dr Marc removed as USP’s Course Coordinator of Journalism
To: mediafreedom@googlegroups.com

Dr Akanisi Kedrayate right?

From: Marc Edge <marcedge@hotmail.com>
To: mediafreedom@googlegroups.com; Dave Coutu <dcoutu@sd35.bc.ca>; “dpollock@laverne.edu” <dpollock@laverne.edu>; Ian Weber <ian.we8er@gmail.com>; Ian Dolling <iandolling@hotmail.com>; Cam Birge <campaola@shaw.ca>
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2012 1:04 PM
Subject: RE: [PFF] Re: [pacific-journos] Re: Dr Marc removed as USP’s Course Coordinator of Journalism
Thanks, Terry!   I hope everyone has seen the latest. The cat is truly out of the bag now.     Everyone should know who has been the source for Grubsheet’s (and the Fiji Sun’s) constant attacks on me as a result of the email Davis has published. I can’t imgine what he was thinking when he outed his source like that. He must have been drunk. Or maybe it was just supreme arrogance. Perhaps both. Dare I say it, but it appears that my Head of School pushed him to the . . . well, you know.   I also enjoyed the editorial in the latest issue of Islands Business. Just wait until Truncated Lounge gets ahold of this one.   http://www.islandsbusiness.com/islands_business/index_dynamic/containerNameToReplace=MiddleMiddle/focusModuleID=20326/overideSkinName=issueArticle-full.tpl  This message was not sent in error, for a change.   Marc Edge
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 12:53:11 -0800From: terrytavita@yahoo.comSubject: Re: [PFF] Re: [pacific-journos] Re: Dr Marc removed as USP’s Course Coordinator of JournalismTo: mediafreedom@googlegroups.com
I reckon they should give marc an award..at a time when there are no media heroes in Fiji, takes a Canadian to point out that the emperor has no clothes..

From: Mark Hayes <drmarkhayes.hayes26@gmail.com>
To: mediafreedom@googlegroups.com
Cc: pacificmedia@googlegroups.com; Vijay Narayan <vijaynarayan@fm96.com.fj>
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 3:00 PM
Subject: Re: [PFF] Re: [pacific-journos] Re: Dr Marc removed as USP’s Course Coordinator of Journalism
Bula Vinaka All, Here’s the Cached version of Dr Edge’s Blog Post on Qorvis from 1/11/12 which has since been taken down from his Blog Site ~ http://tinyurl.com/9wsl5gu A couple of other Posts also seem to have been removed as well. * *And here’s Graham Davis on the latest moves too ~ http://www.grubsheet.com.au/?p=3676 This whole thing is as murky as a Tanoa of Yagona  Moce
On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 7:08 AM, Lisa Williams-Lahari <lisa.lahari@gmail.com> wrote:
Dennis, I echo your closing sentiment —

I’m in little doubt that the campaign to rid the Fiji regime of Marc Edge will reach its natural conclusion. Like the other regional organisations based in Fiji, USP has to go through visa processes for all its non-Fiji citizens and this relies on a regime stamp.

Other than the visa issues and any grounds and procedures for refusing renewal of a visa, there are a host of issues media are not covering in this development.  I’ll raise one that makes this a Pacific story for all news editors. USP is a regional entity and member governments pay annual fees and send future national and regional leaders there for training. Pacific journalists should be asking their representatives to the USP senate and council leadership whether it is right for a host country already milking the economic benefits of servicing a regional body to use subtle and not so subtle coercion to bully the USP leadership into dumping Marc Edge and others who dare to question the status quo. Perhaps in this respect a real and deeper conversation about the underlying issues will emerge……

Fiji journalists if they want to focus on Edge, may also want to ask  what has happened to the September ethics complaint filed with the Fiji Media Development Authority by Marc Edge, against CFL? Am copying to Vijay for his info.

Like others on this list, I am sensing a silence because we are simply tired of being mired inputdowns,  tit for tat and personalised mudslinging….but people, if we don’t speak up on the things that matter, who will?

onwards, lis

On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 9:11 AM, Dennis Rounds <dennis.rounds@gmail.com> wrote:
I don’t know Dr Edge and have only browsed through some of his opinion pieces. I think he should have just kept quiet  from the beginning and observed Pacific politics in journalism before attempting to enter into a paper-based boxing match – Pacific style. I also think it’s sad when journalism students  lose out as a result of personal bickering, personality clashes and personal agendas.
I also hope every day that there will be an improvement tomorrow over what I’ve seen in the newspapers today – just as I hope that one day in the not too distant future, I will again live under the perils of democratic rule – with its pitfall of abrasive, loud-mouthed, all-talk-no-action parliamentarians. In Fiji, one can only hope!!!! And in closing, I can only hope you will allow me to vent my frustrations without character assassinating me for having done so!!! You all have a good day now.


2012 at 6:34 PM, DrMarkHayes <drmarkhayes.hayes26@gmail.com> wrote:
Bula vinaka All,

OK ~ This sparse and terse and obviously very carefully worded Statement –


Begs the Question of “Why!?”

One is also reminded of the “departure” from USP of Professor Wadan Narsey in early August, 2011.

Maybe Dr Edge will have something to say on his Blog ~ http://fijimediawars.blogspot.com.au/

And I wonder if it had anything to do with a recent Post he had there, since taken down, about the PR company advising the Fiji regime, Qorvis

A Very Interesting Development Indeed and certainly worth further explanation and exploration.

And how come the tiny story – without a source – needs three journo’s names on it, or is this a requirement of the Fiji Media Decree (everybody involved, including Subs, gets a by-line)?

On Wednesday, November 14, 2012 2:46:09 PM UTC+10, Lisa wrote:
This in from Fiji…..




14-11-12 16:03


Dr Marc removed as USP’s Course Coordinator of Journalism
Doctor Marc Edge has been removed as the University of the South Pacific’s Course Coordinator of Journalism.

In a press statement released this afternoon the Head of School of Language, Arts and Media, Professor Sudesh Mishra will assume the role of the Course Coordinator of Journalism.

Dr Edge was filling this position temporarily since the departure of the Head of Journalism Shailendra Singh who proceeded on study leave.

However Dr Edge is still an active employee of the University in his capacity as a senior lecturer in the Journalism Program.

Story by: Minnie Edmanley, Filipe Naikaso and Gwen McGoon Publish date/time: 14/11/2012 [15:10]

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