Being a card-carrying member of PKR, I hesitate in going public with any criticisms against DAP and PAS as they are component parties with PKR of the coalition Pakatan Rakyat. I held my tongue -- for solidarity's sake among the three component parties -- when ex-TI chief Tunku Aziz joined DAP some four years ago as I knew his background well enough to hold my reservations whether the royal activist would be a truly reformist leader; but I went public the week leading up to his breaking ranks with the DAP and other PR party leaders in the 428 Bersih3.0 rally issue. I had revealed that before he joined DAP, Tunku Aziz had written a series of articles in the NST attacking PR chief and Opposition Leader DS Anwar Ibrahim and acknowledged leader of the tripartite coalition.
Today I again, for the second occasion, must beg to openly disagree with DAP secretary-general LIM GUAN ENG's continued policy to bar the Utusan and New Straits imes from covering the party's events, especially its press conferences. My beef with the stance taken by DAP is that the REPORTERS covering the field are mere MESSENGERS and what they file for their news organisations could have been balanced and fair. IT IS THE EDITORS WHO COIULD HAVE EDITED THE REPORTER'S COPIES TO DISTORT OR TOTALLY GIVE THE CONTRARY PICTURE OF THE FIELD EVENT OR PRESS CONFERENCE.(By the way, I had served some 30-plus years in the media, both mainstream and online, now a freelancer, so I can safely say I write with some experience.)
In mass media, relating to POLITICAL COVERAGE, there are a few home-truths:
1. Any coverage, even bad or negative, for a political party or politician, has got value in terms of creating an impact on the readers/public;
2. DAP's policy of banning the reporters from those two UMNO-controlled newspapers give grounds for accusations of HYPOCRISY to the party's avowed commitment to FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND THE RIGHT TO DISSENT FROM ANY QUARTERS, WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE LAW.
3. DAP must remember it is no more an Opposition party as far as in Penang adminsitration is concerned. IT IS CONTROLLING THE PENANG STATE GOVERNMENT and must hence demonstrate leadership and confidence in practising what it preaches -- as A RESPONSIVE AND RESPONSIBLE AND ACCOUNTABLE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT, hence its closing the door to NST and Utusan ereporters (OR ANY OTHER NEWS ORGANISATION'S JOURNALISTS) is UNTENABLE!
I must add that a winning strategy is to show that the PR-controlled government (hence including Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan) will walk the talk in MEDIA PRACTICE and FOSTERING AN ENVIRONMENT THAT IS TO COME AT THE NATIONAL-LEVEL when the PR takes over Putrajaya! The Rakyat will appreciate anyone taking us up that ladder towards a more civilised state of affairs in our everyday life, NOT to slide into the abyss which the incumbent government is doing, IMHO K!
Treat the Rakyat with respect -- that the majority have a critical mind, and can tell who is telling the truth, and who's concocting lies, not just among journalists, but include BLOGGERS too! We are dealing with a better informed and discerning public, especially with a younger, better educated generation.
Hey, if a particular newspaper carries LIES AND FABRICATED REPORTS AGAINST THE DAP< yes, sue them. I would even encourage its YOUTH WING TO DEMONSTRATE IN FRONT OF THEW NEWS ORGANISATION.
BUT PLEASE DO NOT BAN THE REPORTERS FROM COVERING YOUR EVENTS, DAP, because:
THE REPORTERS ARE MERELY DOING DUTY THEIR JOB AND CARRYING OUT THEIR DUTY AS PRESS PERSONS.I know for a fact when they enter this writing profession, most were/are commited to the quest for Truth, Fair Play and Ideals. I know I am.
"Hey, we don't shoot the messenger anymore, okay!" -- YL, Desi, knottyaSsusual
From The Malaysian Insider, which I follow regularly:~~
Guan Eng justifies ban on Umno-linked newspapers
By Shannon Teoh
June 22, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng appeared to justify today his administration’s decision to ban Umno-controlled newspapers instead of suing them for defamation, saying they continue to publish false reports without giving him the right of reply.
Lim (picture) was speaking to reporters in George Town just after the High Court there found Utusan Malaysia guilty of defaming him for the second time in six months, a decision he called “a victory for press freedom”.
“We welcome all newspapers including those controlled by Barisan Nasional (BN) on condition they report truthfully and give me the right of reply. But the New Straits Times and Utusan refuse me the right of reply.
“There might be upcoming suits but there are false reports by Utusan every day. I cannot sue them every day, only major cases,” the DAP secretary-general said.
A copy of the audio recording was made available to The Malaysian Insider.
Lim has previously defended Penang’s decision to ban Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia,accusing it of being a party organ rather than a newspaper.
This came after reporters protested against the ban on May 3, which is World Press Freedom Day, and the Centre for Independent Journalism said a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government could not guarantee media freedom.
But the Bagan MP said he could not sue the Malay daily “every day” for its “false reports”, so he was left with no option but to bar its reporters from covering any proceedings in Penang in an act of “self-defence.”
The Penang legislative assembly adopted a motion in May 2011 barring the newspaper following unverified reports on the renovation costs of Lim’s rented residence, and an alleged plot by the DAP and the church to turn Malaysia into a Christian state.
The Penang High Court today found Utusan Malaysia guilty of defaming Lim and ordered the Umno daily to pay him RM200,000 in damages and RM20,000 in costs.
The Penang CM had claimed a March 12, 2008 article headlined “Tiada Lagi DEB (No More NEP)” in the Malay-language newspaper which said he would abolish the New Economic Policy was inaccurate.
He added he had merely said his administration would be free from the “cronyism, corruption and systematic inefficiency” stemming from the policy.
The ruling follows the December 2011 judgment by the Penang High Court that an Utusanarticle titled “Kebiadapan Guan Eng” had “maliciously defamed Lim, and made him and the DAP look as if they are anti-Malay and anti-Islam.”