a Flag-off at cpiasia.net wit':
Media Under the Spotlight
Written by YL Chong, Editor, CPI
Saturday, 02 May 2009 19:21
May 3rd every year marks World Press Freedom day in the democratic world and in Malaysia, there is marked growing consciousness among the people to demand that the Fourth Estate -- prominently mainfested or represented by the printed Press in the form of the daily newspaper at our breakfast table, although other media including electronic and radio fall within this ambit -- come under the spotlight. Often, or at least once a year in a big way, media organisations would organise specal events like forums and discussions to debate whether the "old/traditional" media have fulfilled their role and oblogations.
CPI flags off today an examination of the ("old") media scene dating more than 100 years' history with our own columnist Dr Azly Rahman's thoughts. And of course, to mark World Press Freedom Day in what has obviously become an "annual" fun-outing for Bloggers and Bloggers-to-be, CPI meanwhile is proud to be associated in organising BUM2009 with a band of Bloggers who call themselves "BUMmers" to subject both the old and new media under examination.The new media, especially Internet-enabled ones like Blogging, is relatively "young", like with a mere two decades' history, has given more "voice" to the ordinary citizens many of whom have embraced it fervently, and are promoting what is termed "citizen journalism" with an enthusiasm that will only widen democratic space among the citizenry and contribute towards the development of a more civil society. But the infant stage of this new development would mean that the practitioners and the public or recipients/readers of this rapidly expanding new media reach are still coming to grasp the meaning and implications as to what with the ground rules apply in governing such new media roles and practices. The people in general are still monitoring their development and assessing their role and impact on society, and sometimes one gets the feeling the www -- "worldwide web" -- also appropriately once referred chiefly to the "wild, wild west". So it's early days yet for the jury to come in with a verdict.
Readers here are welcomed to send to us at CPI any Essays, Blog posts pertaining to the Media for publication over the next one month of May. ~~ YL Chong, Editor, CPI at
Background story from worldpressfreedomday.org:
Dear Reader,As they investigate sensitive issues, unveil disturbing truths and question policies, journalists find themselves in the firing line of those directly or indirectly exposed by their reports.Facing harassment, threats of violence and physical retaliation, journalists across the world continue to dig out troubling facts, challenge the status quo and expose those who commit crimes. Day after day, journalists investigate and file reports on issues they know they could be sued or killed for. Many pay the price. On World Press Freedom Day, the World Association of Newspapers will present the story of many journalists whose work upsets and can sometimes undo the powerful. What do they report on, how and at what price?Moussa Kaka, the director of the private radio station Saraouniya Radio talks about his coverage of the Niger Justice Movement that led to a one-year imprisonment. Mohammad Al-Al Abdallah, a 26-year old Syrian blogger, reveals his family hardships that have arisen from the fight for press freedom. In Yemen, Abdel Karim Al-Khaiwani, talks about spending a year behind bars for his reportage on high-level corruption, nepotism, and human rights abuses. Colombian journalist Claudia Julieta Duque discusses the long battle she has faced for her investigative reporting. Barry Bearak of The New York Times describes his arrest, detention and expulsion from Zimbabwe for trying to report from the country during the last elections.You can publish free of charge any editorial and advertising materials available on this site. You may also translate any of the material into another language that we do not currently offer. The World Association of Newspapers annually organises a World Press Freedom Day initiative to draw attention to the role of independent news and information in society, and how it is under attack. A number of individuals and organisations have made this year's campaign possible. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Agence France-Presse, Reuters, Associated Press, Russian Guild of Press Publishers, Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Michel Cambon, Sanjeev Saikia, and Tom Callaghan.
Related: Death of Malaysian media?
My heART at Labor at CPI enables me to add some "kaya" to top up french toast -- NO> I DON'T USE THE CAP! -- of just plain bread and butter with three sceneful layers of Skippy. And also pile on Capitalist indulgence on May Day to serenade two sweet ladies with a desisque-imitating-B'Gies Y-el-Ling cowboi versi ofFirst of May at a certain Furong Butterfly Vale. If you must knwo, I served full time some two decades at the much-maligned MSM, but I also underwent some Jurassick transformation at a diplomatic mission and a "reformist" online newspaper ... and ONE thing I've learnt -- AND THOU AT AT LIBERTY TO DISAGREE! -- Homo sapiens at heart remain basically self-centred creatures. It's nurture -- at the right place, and in the right hands and at the right time -- that refines the Self to be redefined to a higher state of humanity. And the odds of this refinement process are stacked against it from happening to the completion or fulfilment of the desidearatum of Humanisation of Self. Because to get all the THREE "rights" -- at the right place, and in the right hands and at the right time -- to come together to a congruent unity is like striking a lottery. Okay, I'll end hear -- hgonna buy some 1+3D to test my theory of getting all the THree numbers right!
which can mean See you later!
Come join me for a CON BF/Brunch
at Men Keem where all the men are charitable
and the ladies are chirpy and generous2, in more ways than wan!:):)
I command Thee to help thyself to Jest Desserts and "Surf ***hear for a better look! "-- YL, Desi
Death of Malaysian media?
Written by Dr Azly Rahman
Saturday, 02 May 2009 18:43
April 23, 2009
“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.” (Noam Chomsky) “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” (Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826)Is the death of distance nearer to us than our jugular vein?Which stream is the mainstream media drowning in? It has forced us to drink too much from the River of Forgetfulness. It has shaped the consciousness of Malaysian citizens - they are now happily indoctrinated, blessed to be alive in a totalitarian state and constantly reminded by the state to count their blessings.
Nicollo Machiavelli once said that, to maintain power, pretend that you are religious and moral, even if you are allowing the Devil within to take charge.That public image must be doctored by the media, the fourth estate. ‘Perception management’ is big business, especially in this age of political makeovers.The business of Asian-despotic style of journalism is to tell doctored, nursed, and massaged truths that mask the ugliness of class and the modern caste system.Perhaps our system of education has helped us become educated at a level enough to consume truth that is produced by the state-owned media companies - to have enough education to believe that what is real is actually an illusion constructed by those who owns the means of constructing reality.Basic literacy means to have enough skills to read the newspapers, never having the skills to question the truth produced by these artifacts of state-propaganda.Death of state propagandaTotalitarian regimes thrives on a seemingly ‘free media’. When the media become conglomerates and giants, gobbling up small alternative media that tells alternative truths, the people will be in danger. The media becomes a King Kong atop the Empire State building, arrogantly pounding its chest after gobbling up production-houses of little truths.When media control becomes interlocked with political parties and business interests, the selling of lies and half-truths become more savvy, sophisticated and salivating. The story of poverty and why people become poor will not be told - the truth will hurt and bring governments down.In the movie ‘Entrapment’, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, this point is made clear: we allow Hollywood to promote the Petronas Twin Towers and we make sure that the world does not see the ugliness of our bantusaan/setinggan areas.But the point on the print and broadcast media was mainly relevant before the advent of the Internet - before the birth and proliferation of bloggers. We now have a post-modern condition that threatens the survival of whatever dignity and respect is left of the government-controlled media. Welcome to the age of the imminent death of state propaganda.The story of how we discriminate flood victims and take advantage of the helpless will be told in greater detail. The story of how much we pay our voters in a democracy that is hideously deformed will be narrated, published, and pod-casted.We are all, in our own way, turning into journalists telling our own truth. We will soon no longer need daily newspapers to tell us half-truths. We need our cell-phone cameras, our blogs, and our will to speak truth to power.Gutenberg’s legacyThe Internet is now such a powerful medium that it is threatening the print media - the Gutenberg creation that is being crushed under its own weight. Never underestimate how the Internet will become a powerful tool that will transform nations or even bring down corrupt governments.I recall in the summer of 1998, in a discussion with classmates interested in anthropology at Columbia University. I presented a scenario of the changes in Malaysia as the nation becomes ‘cybernated’.Taking the Laman Reformasi and Free Anwar websites as cases in point, I argued that this will be the next wave of democracy and free speech. It is going to be a war between the Grand and the Subaltern narratives, between Print and Digital Technology, between the elite of the print media and the digital proletariats.Manuel Castells, Lorenzo Simpson, and Robert McClintock - scholars of Internet and social change - have written a great deal on this.The fast rate of Internet penetration in Malaysia will see the proliferation of ‘citizen journalists and commentators’ who will continue to exercise their rights to free speech. Nothing can stop the bloggers from providing alternative truths or truths that matter or even - as of late - truths and nothing the truths.The bedrock of the print media will be shaken as the microbes of voices in the wilderness continue to brew. The screenshots of social change will become a collage of radical social criticism and become a tapestry of voices of conscience that will engulf print media from head to toe. Such is the case of the metaphor of change as embodied in the recent zeroing in on Rocky’s Bru and Screenshots.There is a sense of panic, fear and trembling of the world of Print and Broadcast Literacy that Cyberspace a.k. a. the Internet is threatening the foundation of how knowledge is produced and propaganda crafted.Tools of dominationAll government newspapers are tools of state propaganda. Even a first-year Universiti Sains Malaysia student of journalism can tell us that. Even a padi farmer in Arau can preach that pertinent point to his children. Those who buy and read government-owned newspapers are news junkies subjecting themselves to Official Knowledge crafted to suit the need of the owners of the means of producing propaganda.All government newspapers are used to skillfully silence and kill opposing viewpoints, albeit couched in some proclamation of free speech. It has been used to engineer risings, uprisings and downfalls. It has been bought and sold by those who have the means to buy and sell politicians.The same goes for the government-owned television stations. They are shapers of consciousness. As a professor of media Neil Postman once said about television, "… thanks to television… our children (have) four eyes and no mouth".Look at what is shown on television. What are our children watching? How much are they reading? How much junk is being funneled daily into the heads of our children? Through the television programmes, how much money is spent by advertisers to shape us and our children into consumers; those who buy things they do not need and consequently suffer by having to crave for objects of desire that define the symbols of social class they are in?How many television channels do one need? Who benefits from the selling of mental junk to our children?Can't we Malaysians organise a week of no-newspapers and a week of no-television campaigns to teach us to flush out junk from our consciousness?The print and broadcast media has become tools of mental domination and purveyor of the post-modern totalitarianism. Those who participate in owning, writing, producing, editing and selling the ideology are partners with the regime of totalitarianism. They have become a citizen of the state of ‘Oceania’ as in George Orwell's novel 1984. They are, in the word of media theorist Stuart Hall, decoders and encoders of state propaganda.The Internet is different. It is a protean technology – it is multi-medium and still has the potential for more interactivity. It speaks to us and lets us speak - unlike newspapers, radio and television.The death of distance is near. How much longer will newspapers and television survive?.