Top mainstream media editor wants more. Veteran journalist Wong Chun Wai has called on the government to do away with "archaic" laws that are stifling Press freedom in Malaysia. The Star's editor is unhappy with Malaysia's poor rankings in a Freedom House survey on nearly 200 countries (Malaysia is ranked 150th). He also noted that bloggers are becoming more credible as a source of news.
"Many have raised pertinent issues and asked good questions, which make us think harder. Many former journalists-turned-bloggers have proven that they still have the network of contacts to help them break news."
But a seasoned editor knows how and when to cover his behind:
"Still, it cannot be denied that under the Abdullah Administration, the Prime Minister has allowed greater democratic space and tolerance for dissent. It is thus unfortunate that some bloggers have made heroes of political players who had suppressed the media when they were in power. Many of these figures lack the credibility to talk about press freedom and when they do so, they smack of hypocrisy. Some are turning to the new media and have complained about media blackout when they, too, had used the same tactics to shut out their opponents. Many bloggers, unfortunately, are much too young to realise this or they have chosen to look the other way for political expediency. Some bloggers write about press freedom and yet display blatant intolerance of others who don’t share their political views. "
I disagree with Wong on one point, at least. I was there, too, and I will deny that under the Abdullah Administration, the Prime Minister has allowed greater democratic space and tolerance for dissent. And I wonder who Wong is referring to when he writes about "political players who had suppressed the media when they were in power"? Dr Mahathir Mohamad?
Whatever, now that I know his views on these issues, I look forward to the roundtable forum on Press freedom on TV2 scheduled for middle this month featuring both of us, among others. In the meantime, do read Wong's Do Away With Archaic Laws.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Out with outdated Press laws!
at May 06, 2007
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