Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ah, Veera

Star journo. Another senior editor from The Star, the country's largest English-language daily, has ticked off people, especially ministers, who suffer from "blogger syndrome", a phrase to describe the irrational fear some people have for blogs and bloggers [sufferers include the Prime Minister, the Tourism Minister, a certain comeback columnist at NST, which considers The Star as a rival, and several individuals who have filed a lawsuit against bloggers].

Veera Pandiyan, in his comment Please Sir, don't press the media, expressed his disappointment with former journalist Zam, the Information Minister, for telling the local media not to quote from blogs and for making out bloggers as “provocative, politically motivated, inaccurate or just floating rumours for the interests of certain parties.”

With due respect, sir, as a veteran of the vocation, surely you would agree that the same sins have been and still are being committed by opportunistic hacks skulking in newsrooms and television stations. Black sheep can be found everywhere, even in lofty places where they masquerade as mountain goats.
Fairness is the prerequisite of responsible journalism. This includes checking the credibility of sources, verifying information and letting the other side to have its say. Ethical editors have always adhered to these basic rules.
The Star's deputy GEIC Wong Chun Wai last week ticked off another minister for his lack of PR in handling bloggers over an issue of an Indonesian blogger writing about her disappointment with the local tourism players in promoting VMY 2007. Check this seemingly pro-blogger piece at


  1. Anonymous9:52 pm

    these two jokers pro bloggers? Rocky, you must bbe livng in a dream world. These two jerks are paid by the mainstream press and their views are just a smokescreen. Plse dont be hoodwinked by them. the mainstream journalists are half-past six journalists who are there for the money. don't trust them. Just ask Datuk Syed Nadzri. nadzri is having a whale of a time managing a shit paper which is neither dead or alive.

  2. Anonymous10:25 pm

    The fact is that Veera is talking sense and she has the guts to say it. Hope she won't be booted out by some unseen hand (leg).

  3. Anonymous10:47 pm

    Didn't realise journos get paid that much....

  4. nstman, at least we have to take them at face value and reaffirm them on doing the right things.

  5. Anonymous10:53 pm

    instead of name calling, wouldn't it make more sense for bloggers and the mainstream media to work together?

    Yes, the journalists may seem to be hypocrites, but then again, arent we all.

    There are so many civil servants who are ardent fans of PAS and KeAdlian, yet they are under the payroll of BN.

    We sigh and we talk so much about the current ruling government, yet we are still in Malaysia.

    And yes, the journalists of both The Star and NSTP and other party owned publications may have a say despite them being gagged most of the time.

    What better way then to view blogs as a means for them to vent their opinions and obtain opinions from others as well.

    Blogs are now a source for the media. But note that blogs are only viewed by a small cross section of the society compared to printed materials which are available to every individual.

    Just because you and I read rocky's bru, it doesnt mean that the whole country is doing the same as well.

    Blogs need the media as much as the media need the blogs. And for the ministers, they ought to learn what politics is all about or otherwise ship out.

  6. Yes, NSTman here talked sense, I rather be my 'own' man evaluating articles that comes out from 'salaried men' against their own employers. The D. Syed I knew used to write 'balanced' articles but lately his 'tune' had changed.

    *sigh, there is a price on everyone. still I will be following wong chun wai's write.
    Rock On, Bro!

  7. Anonymous11:38 pm

    The man who sold the world said:

    "..... blogs are only viewed by a small cross section of the society compared to printed materials which are available to every individual."


    But look at RPK's Malaysia-Today, which registers more than 1.7 million hits a day, more than the daily circulations of "The Star" and NST combined.

  8. Anonymous11:40 pm

    Uncle Tan, Veera is a guy. and he's got balls. Not many guys in mainstream media have them.

  9. Anonymous11:50 pm


    Heard Old Man M in Johor a few hrs ago. About 500 people came, Melayu, China and India. It was an Umno Cawangan event. Old Man spoke and exchanged views with audience from 5pm to about 6.45. Many mainstream journos were there. See papers tomorrow. If they dare! See Malaysia-today instead. RPK was there. So was Sang Kelembai and several other bloggers. Old man will die fighting.

  10. Constructive criticism coupled with constructive engagement. Star seems to be adopting this approach with their articles on bloggers, in particular and/or their take on interactive digital media revolution. Will the MCA allow this to continue? Time will tell, I suppose.

    UMNO politicians and their main english media organ, the NST appears to be stuck in a rut which is getting deeper by the day and totally oblivious to changing consumer reading habits.

    Eleven million internet-connected citizens will 'demand' news reports from every conceivable sources who will then pass it on to others who are not. It's not as if netizens do not communicate with non-netizens. Duh!

    If the news is the first draft of history, I sincerely hope media bloggers will continue to handle the freedom to express, write and inform Joe/Jane Public in a responsible manner. Yet, there is a lot more that we can learn from 'hardcopy' journalists who are still the main proponents of the Fourth Estate.

    It's not difficult to be pragmatic and humble at the same time.

  11. Anonymous1:33 am

    " .... under the payroll of BN"

    What shit are you talking about. That's why we cannot remove BN from power. BN=government and Government=BN!!!!!!

  12. Anonymous3:22 am

    [especially ministers, who suffer from "blogger syndrome"]

    What a great expression for them. Not only Ministers suffer for this but many MPs too.
    A serious disease, should write a scientific research proposal and apply for research grant too.

  13. Anonymous7:45 am

    Salam Bro,

    hmmm...there is a rhythm I learn when I was in Primary school.and its call The Cooked Man.
    after reading your entry reminds me of it.

    There was a crooked man and he went a crooked mile

    He found a crooked sixpence beside a crooked stile

    He had a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse

    And they all lived together in a little crooked house


  14. Veera has spoken..and that is his column, so at least this is a good view and opinion in the right direction,

    "Fairness is the prerequisite of responsible journalism. This includes checking the credibility of sources, verifying information and letting the other side to have its say."

    To Mr. Minister and several "induviduals", aren't bloggers quoting some source or media in their links ? and if we do post inaccurately then our source (media link) was just "floating" rumours...and that includes the media!

  15. uncle tan, Veera is a'he', not a 'she'.
    And nstman, Veera is not a joker. This man is a veteran journalist with lofty principles, morality and journalistic ethics, unlike the "opportunistic hacks skulking in newsrooms and television stations".

    And there are many Veeras in this country, but alas, they wear shackles to work.
    They have to consider the newspaper owners' interests, they have to take unpleasant phone calls from Internal Security, they have to remind themselves of the many restrictive laws and most importantly protect their political masters who suffer from "TRUTH PHOBIA".
    Remember it's always TRUTH that brings down politicians.
    LIES sustain them.

  16. At least there are still few sensible people in the mainstream media who refuse to masquerade as mountain goats.

  17. At least there are few sensible people in the mainstream media who occasionally don't masquerade as mountain goats

  18. Anonymous11:57 am

    Dear Rocky,

    I kind of agree with nst man. Dont trust them completely. They are after all hired by the mainstreamn media.

    Good day

  19. Anonymous12:30 pm

    Mr Smith, you tell me which journalist is not a joker or a jerk. the very fact they are told to write is clear proof. Frankly, a majority of journalists have no principles. they are more interesting in getting more money rather than serve the interest of readers. Pse dont come to tell me wong chun wai and veera are true journalists. If they really write from the heart they would have resigned a long time ago.

  20. i agree with anak jantan. payroll comes from government's monies.. not BN!
    Anything that comes as a threat to politicians will be deemed as not good! Now its Blogger Syndrome... i wonder what it will be next...

  21. Anonymous1:23 pm

    Sdr Bru,

    The Star is a mainstream paper. It's owned by the MCA. How much can it do to be different? It may speak against press control. I may defend the rights of bloggers. But it has to play by the rule. Just see how much (or how little) it gave to Tun Dr Mahathir's one hour and a half dialogue with the Kulai people. But that does not mean that all Star reporters are hyprocrites. You'll be surprised that many still love and respect Tun. They miss bantering with him and getting good stories from him.

  22. Anonymous1:50 pm


    gua caya lu

  23. Anonymous1:52 pm

    U mean TDM's diatribe against Singapore?

    Its getting to be like a broken record. U don't like Spore? Fine, get over it, and move on.

  24. Anonymous9:44 pm

    To Mr. Smith and Annonymous,

    I'm sorry for confusing a guy with a gal, but Veera really sounds very feminine to my ears.


  25. Anonymous6:23 am

    BDS(not Bush Derangement Syndrome) but Blog Derangement Syndrome.


  26. Anonymous12:46 pm

    Ah...Veera, thanks for the very reasoned opinion piece. I always thought that principles were paramount to a journalist, and you remind me at important junctures why so.

    Bravo, mon ami! You are a credit to the fourth estate.

  27. Anonymous11:09 pm

    i think the MSM eds try...some MSM eds try while some try too...but they try too hard to be RICH....:P

    i feel it's a positive sign..nothing like that from erm..the most established english-language daily so far..along these lines promoting freedom of speech..............

    after the tian chua report...hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm :D

  28. Anonymous11:24 pm

    i think some MSM eds try their best...

    however, the reports on tian chua in kg berembang and having almost no news coverage on the issue before this is telling........

    NST an UMNO paper? it was silent when the govt tore down the houses of Malays...but unfairly reported on tian....

    NST an UMNO paper? it was also mostly silent on the FTA issue...on the real issues that may affect Malay farmers....

    NST an UMNO paper? really?.....

  29. Hi Rocky,

    I feel that we can blog as long as we don't cross the chauvinistic line or the ISA line. Those lines clearly serve as our local blogging guidelines.

    The main purpose of blogging is as a replacement to the standard pen and paper diary or venting opinions that we have our own control to stamp on. I tried writing a comment to an issue on the Star, and in the next few days, my post came out but it was heavily sanitized! I tried posting on the Star's RAGE column, yet mine didn't show up?

    What's the better alternative to that by having our own blog? This saga thing is like the between us and the cops. Sometimes the cops will start looking for trouble instead of the usual we. Think them as traffic cops or municipal council people on the beat.

    I find that this lawsuit is total bullshit. Rather than suing you, the editor should have posted a editorial column and set things right. This lawsuit is somewhat like bashing bloggers on the head.

    I remembered that a lousy comic writer - Chuck Austen - hit back very hard at fans and readers who commented his work was indeed out of logic or could not be understood. He called those readers 'trolls'. I wonder if this is the kind of current mentality that NST is right now?