famalaoan / fino' chamoru

The End of “Mikilot na Isa”

I was brought on over a year ago by the previous editor-in-chief of The Guam Daily Post, formerly the Marianas Variety, to write a weekly column, “Mikilot na Isa.”

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The current editor-in-chief has repeatedly pressured me (to the extent that she has held back some columns from publication with no notice to me) to stop writing in Chamorro and to stop writing about politics, especially to stop criticizing Arnold Davis.

I have asked for column guidelines and recommended topics but never received a response.

This week, they pushed back against my column discussing Davis’s and Tim Rohr’s recent responses to my previous columns on the grounds that I engaged in “personal attacks” by daring to address the horrific accusations against the one and the shameless sexual comments of the other. Frankly, I’m usually not published if I so much as mention Davis.

I mostly enjoyed writing my column, although it was unpaid labor.  I enjoyed learning more CHamoru and modeling the use of the language by a language learner for our community — I don’t think we have much of that out there, and I wanted to encourage others to learn as well.  I was inspired by Mr. Onedera’s column, as he has written in CHamoru for a long time, while most columnists write in English.

I didn’t enjoy working with the current editors who seem to view themselves as Inquisitors.

I don’t think there’s anyone writing from the perspective of a progressive academic woman about hot-button topics in those pages; having been that woman, for about a year and a half, I can certainly understand why.

The Post and Pacific Daily News have been criticized for biased news coverage before me. You can look up Francis Dalisay’s academic research for an example if you are interested. In my experience, the Post is indeed biased — even in its opinion pages, where a normal paper would naturally want a range of opinions.

I sincerely hope the day will come when newspapers on Guåhan do not censor or pressure columnists based on academic or political viewpoints, including feminism, or indigenous language use.

That day is not here.

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