KONGRES PKR ...LIVE !!! -----> cakkk kat sebelah
Hari terakhir perbahasan Kongres LIVE .... !!!!
Jadual 3 hari KONGRES - DISINI

HOME [no2umno]

Jan 29, 2008

'Boycott newspapers, buy no lies'


Every Tuesday, lawyer-cum-blogger Haris Ibrahim will not buy newspapers. Neither will at least seven other individuals who have joined him in a boycott of Malaysia’s print media.

Haris, who runs The People’s Parliament - a website advocating change on several fronts - launched the campaign today at a press conference in Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

Ironically, his intentions were announced before journalists covering the event, some of whom appeared offended by the campaign.

Also present were members of the Hartal MSM (Boycott Mainstream Media) committee formed last December.

They and a number of socio-political bloggers wore yellow T-shirts with the slogan ‘Boycott the Newspapers, No Buy, No Lies’. Haris launched the campaign this morning by sending out a text-message on this to senior staff of newspaper organisations.

He said the first priority of the campaign is to create awareness among the public that newspapers often “do not tell the truth”, and that the committee is not overly concerned about the number of people who support the campaign.

“When you want to push change, there will be a price to pay.” he said.

While acknowledging the legal constraints that journalists face, he said the committee had reached breaking point over such failings as “false reporting (as well as) non-reporting and distortion of facts”.

In relation to this, he picked out examples from today's edition of the pro-government New Straits Times to illustrate the spin on reports involving political parties.

Haris called on the media to uphold “honest reporting”, saying that readers deserve this because they pay for newspapers. He emphasised that the boycott has a long-term goal that goes beyond the 12th general election, widely speculated to be held in March.

“Although this is a baby step, I have confidence in the public. Now the rakyat is in the mood and ready to shake our society, to reclaim space guaranteed by the constitution,” he said.

Asked to explain why the committee has chosen Tuesdays for the boycott, he said this was to cater to those who may not want to miss out on the weekend supplements and Monday edition of newspapers.

He further said that the campaign does not involve any political parties, but that the committee is ready to work with any political party that shares its vision.

‘Keeping up momentum’
Committee-member Helen Ang said the campaign colour - yellow - was chosen because it is a symbol of people power and that the group wants the momentum to continue.

Centre for Independent Journalism executive director V Gayathry (photo) said that, based on her experience as a journalist, there are newspaper editors who are ready for change. However, they are restrained by pressure from the government.

The committee challenged newspaper organisations to report the campaign, but this drew mixed reactions from journalists who expressed concerns about the impact on their jobs.

Haris, acknowledged that bread-and-butter issues are involved, but said the boycott is directed at the authorities, and not editors and journalists.

Journalists from vernacular organisations commented that their newspapers are not ‘guilty’ of the wrongdoings leveled by the committee.

Haris, however, said there has been censorship of issues linked to Article 11 (freedom of religion) which ought not to happen.

He added that the committee would rely heavily on the Internet media, as well as explore other avenues - including social networking sites like Facebook - to get its message across.

The print and broadcast media in Malaysia are severely restricted by a slew of laws - notably the licensing provision of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 - that have an impact on press freedom, freedom of expression and right to information.

In addition, most newspaper organisations are either owned or heavily influenced by component parties of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.


Posting terkini

Blog Archive