. . . EDITORIAL September 2014 has been given as the date when the people of Fiji next get to cast a democratic vote under the People's Charter, still in draft. A long time. Appointment of Orwellien "information officers" in newsrooms casts an extraordinary chill across one of the hotbeds of modern development, the democractically inclined news media. There are enough studies online to suggest that nations without an independent news media do much worse economically than those without. Events of the last year cast those certainties into doubt. What, after all, constitutes an economy? Is it "poverty elimination" derided by New Zealand Foreign Affairs minister, Murray McCully, as throwing "hundred dollar bills" out a helicopter door? Or global meltodown of world financial systems costing an estimated us$15 trillion and counting due to insane greed and transnational corruption? Take your pick. In Fiji, decades of steady economic growth through tourism, sugar and mining have seen ever widening - and downward - gaps between top and bottom strata. Fiji is being run for the few, not the many. In that they reflect realities across the world. Realities on the ground around Suva, as suggested by the Fiji Sun, is that Bainimarama is here to stay, get used to it. For media, that once again means trooping wearily back to the barricades as frontline troops in a seemingly endless tussle between human rights and forms of "democracy" that encourage vast abuse and tragically little accountability. A word of advice to Bainimarama: back off the media. If he really wants to transform Fiji into a post-racial society, he'll need to elevate himself and his supporters from their current image as grunting thugs. It's really up to him how his legacy is judged. His biggest risk? That he goes down in history as a tool of the region's new colonialists - China - with similarly disastrous results. As one Fiji journalist put it, forwarding links to the two main editorials of the day, "enjoy the contrast." Fiji Sun Fiji Times. . . .