Monday, January 14, 2008

Oh, dear, Editors!

These girls and their families have suffered enough. (Did you have to expose them and add to their suffering for a few copies more?).

To: The Editors of the New Straits Times, Harian Metro, the Malay Mail

Dear Sirs,

Re: Pictures of Kampung Baru molester victims in your papers today

I received mails from some enraged readers of yours (and you may say goodbye to them) with regards to your reports in today's paper on the police enlisting the help of 4 young former victims of the so-called Kampung Baru molester.

All of you decided to use the pictures of the girls being escorted by their parents/guardians and police officers to a building in the city believed to be where the girls (and Nurin Jazlin) had been detained by the suspect.

While the faces of the girls (all below 8) were covered by their parents/guardians with newspapers, you actually decided to publish the pictures of these parents/guardians without bothering to pixelate* the photographs.

I don't have to tell you that by doing so you have exposed these children (and their families) to your readers and to further misery.

As at this point of time, dear Sirs, as your former colleague and a fellow journalist, I am ashamed of you. You might as well have published the faces of the girls, their names and addresses.

You owe your readers, the parent of the kids, and the poor kids an unreserved apology.

p.s. I attach herewith photos of some of your handiwork.

Yours truly.

* Newspaper editors often pixelate photographs so that the reader cannot identify the identity of the subject/s. A photograph of a crime suspect is pixelated until he is formally charged with his crime. Pictures of underaged kids, whether victims or otherwise in a crime, must be pixelated to protect their identity.

Note to Rocky's Bru readers:
I don't relish picking on editors and journalists; I'd rather hold them in high esteem. For 3 years, I was editor of the Business Times and for another 5 years (until Feb 2006) I headed the Malay Mail. As editors and journalists, we make mistakes everyday.
But the decision to publish the pictures of the parents of these kids is plain stupid, reckless, unprofessional, insensitive and ought to be condemned.
The Sun published the picture of a parent and his little girl on its front page today but its editors had the sense of covering up the man's face. Berita Harian is the only paper in the NSTP family that didn't carry the pictures. Neither did Utusan Malaysia. The Star's editors also decided not to use the pictures.

The top 2 pictures are from New Straits Times, pic 3 from Harian Metro, and the 4th one from the Malay Mail. Bottom most picture is taken from the Sun's front page. ALl pics used without permission.
For more pictures and annoyed words, go HERE.


  1. Anonymous3:59 pm

    maybe lawyers can help these families get some money from the papers by suing their ass

  2. Anonymous4:04 pm

    ask who's running the show, lor. better at suing others, i guess. may be the parents should give him a taste of his own medicine, eh?

  3. Anonymous4:06 pm

    Welcome to Kaliular's world. where ethics means jack. That's not to say those folks at The Star are paragons of journalistic credence.

    Its just that The Star folks are much better at covering their collective backsides.

    Is Syed Nazri on leave? Or took leave of his senses. We shall not ask the same question of HIshamuddin Aun, of course.

    Shameless fellas, all of them.

  4. When greed rules, human dignity has no place...

    Tumpang sikit, other blogs updates here

  5. to the unlucky parents..please sue those who publish your faces in the paper without permission.. ask for compensation on humiliation that you have to go through.. please do it..

    start it out there please advice the victim parents

  6. I'm with you on this Rocks, but isn't your post aggravating the crime of publishing the pictures? Perhaps you should remove yours?

    In any case, yes, I agree, why do papers lack the decency to keep what is private, private? You're right too; if you cover the girls faces, then show the parents', its like oxymoronic isn't it?


  7. Anonymous4:51 pm

    and may i say, cows come and cows may go but the bull in some place stays forever..

  8. Anonymous4:52 pm

    Malaysia's press boleh....'as usual'

  9. Thanks Amir Mahmood,

    I know what you mean, bro, about taking out those pictures from my blog, or pixelating them.

    But pls understand. What I am doing is trying to illustrate what will happen and is already happening -- people see the pics, pass the word around, pass the pics around, and those who didn't know that little so-and-so was a victim of the suspected Kg Baru Molester will now know. And she would be taunted and tortured. The naughtly little ones will call her "the terong girl" or something to that effect.

    the NST and Harian Metro have a combined readership of, what, 700,000 or thereabout. Maybe a million readers a day. (I think Metro sells about 300,000 copies daily and NST 130,000-140,000 copies; readership is usually multiplied by 3 or 4 that number of circulation).

    The pictures they published today will be there in the archives, online as well as offline, forever bro. I can take them now or later, but those pictures are already out there.

    Like they say, the needle's gone and damage is done.

    Thank you.

  10. Faced with declining sales due to loss of credibility and blacking out of opposition news, these journalists will resort to any thing to rake in some profits for the owners.
    We just cannot talk of journalist ethics when the media is shackled.

  11. Anonymous5:24 pm

    not only in today paper...

    if u watched last nite Buletin Utama you could see more and clearer..

  12. Anonymous5:39 pm

    Hey Don;t sue NST. because in your suit you;d have Syed Nadzri's name there or Hishamuddin Aun. Poor Syed Nadzri. He is a bona fide journalist. Hishamuddin -- alaah. don;t waste your time-lah, he's Kali's talibarut, machai.
    kalimulah's name wont be there because he very cleverly made himself editorial adviser. Sheeesshhh. sama level dengan Pak Samad. Sakit nya mata melihat.

    but just be clear on this.
    and rocky, this is not malicious but the truth.

    The NST is not run by journalists. it is run by a person with business interests.
    the journalists on the senior editorial line-up appointed by Kali are all either taddak experience, YES-men, pengecut or on prolonged vacation.
    those there on their own steam and merit can't do a damn thing. or are not allowed to.

    so, what do you expect?

  13. Bro. Rocky,

    Editor yang berkenaan tidak patut menyiarkan gambar-gambar tersebut. Sekarang orang semua sudah tahu "anak siapa"!!

    Malangnya editor-editor ini apabila menyiarkan gambar orang politik, pandai pulak tutup muka dan badan orang-orang yang terlibat. Contohnya kes Dr. Chua Soi Lek baru-baru ini. Sebelum CSL mengaku, gambar-gambar yang dikeluarkan ditutup dari kepala sampai ke pinggang.

    Ada dua standard yang berbeza?

  14. Anonymous5:59 pm

    There should be a seminar of Do's & Don't for all our newspaper's editor so that they will know where to draw the line. Many a times, in order to sell their paper, sensational news were publish even without checking on the actual facts.

  15. Anonymous6:02 pm

    When the papers are run by greenhorns, this is what happens, They don't care. And in some cses, they don't dare. Syed Nazri? He's sidelined. Hishamuddin? He wants to do business and his journalistic skills are always suspect. Kamarul Idris? Kamrul who? Manja Ismail? tak ada telor. Suka makan telor penyu tapi tak ada telor.

    Me? I worked with Lionel before and I know how he operates...

  16. Anonymous6:23 pm


    the reason these newspaper chief editor did this is because :

    1. To attract / increase their newspaper sales for today ( for 1 day only )

    2. plain stupid.

    That's what happen to you when you work for people yang dah tak ada hati perut & perasaan lagi.

  17. Anonymous6:38 pm

    Actually saw all the footage on tv last night, lah. I think the police also have a responsibility to protect the identities of these children.

    I was actually horrified that the police made the girls go back to the place that was thought to be the torture-centre. If it had really been the place, it would have been so traumatic for those girls. I really hope they had a counsellor at hand to talk the girls through it...

  18. Anonymous6:48 pm

    Harian Metro and the Malay Mail (as well as certain Chinese dailies) has always centred around sensationalism; such insensitive editing is less than suprising. But to know the NST, a leading newspaper in the country, has done the same, doesn't bode well for its quality of journalism. Shame on these papers.

  19. Anonymous6:53 pm

    Shoot the editor and the chief sub-editor of all the papers concerned. I would presume they would have had the benefit of years of experience on the job and yet fall short on this very basic rule of journalism.It is typical of this country to protect the criminal and expose the victims to ridicule and danger.

  20. Anonymous7:17 pm

    Dear Rocky,

    Frankly, you did the same too.

    If you care, please "pixelate" the pictures or remove it. People who see your blog are increased every second. And the worst, someone copy the pictures and use it else where. Please do soon.

    Please be sensitive too.


  21. HIDUP BERITA HARIAN.... Top Credit for BERITA HARIAN. tq. You know me bro, Cheers

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. Anonymous8:03 pm

    Bro Rocky,
    I agreed with Amir,you have made the situation worst by publishing their pix in your blog.However noble your intention the damage had already been done.Anyway I know my comment will not be published but knowing you Bro Rocky you should know better.
    Bob From Kuching

  24. Anonymous8:31 pm

    Aiya. Those of u not happy with bro Rock, please do the right thing. Which is, write in to those Editors from the NST, the Harian and the Malay Mail. Tell them they should have known better than to expose the kids and their families like that. It is not bro Rock's pictures, he is highlighting them. If he didn't do it, you think you guys would know about it? Porrah! Now, instead of bakar kelambu (killing the messenger), why don't you whack the nyamok (the message).

    Boycott the MSM!!

    OK, OK .. we start with the 3 dungu papers. BOYCOTT Harian Metro, the New Strait Times, and the Malay Mail!!!

    -- Bin Tang

  25. People who condemn Rocky for reposting the pictures here are probably suffering from tunnel vision syndrome. They nitpick at minor details while ignoring the bigger picture.


  26. Anonymous9:31 pm

    poor newspapers...stooping so low to make day ends' profits...

    oh ya, why rockybru also published the pics under this posting? is it justifiable, that to prove the newspapers have really put up the pics on their pages, that rocky bru decided to do the same thing?


  27. Anonymous9:33 pm

    oh sorry, i wrote my comment without browsing through the other 24 comments, thus i didn't realise your explanation on the may delete my previous comment..

    but arguable, still...


  28. Anonymous9:48 pm

    but these editors are so smart to always cover up the names of VIP offenders like the latest saga of a corrupted minister under ACA investigation.

  29. Anonymous11:08 pm

    where are you GOV called yourself 'GOV',what have you done?


  30. Anonymous11:29 pm

    Saya pun berfikir awak dan 'editor-editor cari makan' tu kan lebih kurang sama la pulak. Niat awak untuk membantu tapikan ia seperti menambah garam pada luka aje.

    Apakata awak 'bintik-bintik'kan gambar mak bapak dan anak-anak malang tu lepas tu awak tulis kat kaki gambar tu ...kalau di salinan sebenar, wajah ibu bapa dan anak-anak malang ini didedahkan tanpa belas kasihan oleh 'editor-editor cari makan' tu.

  31. Rock, you got to excuse these MSMs. They lost all sense of right and wrong and any sense of propriety a long time ago. They promote rape and incest by the manner of their reporting. They promote corruption by witholding reporting about it. They collaborated to bring down the judiciary by refusing to report the misconduct taking place there. And they conspired to ensure the politicians ruling the country are the corrupt ones and the war lords who had brawn but no brain.

    Don't expect these goons to even understand or for that matter even realise the damage and the disservice they rendered by families of these victims by not pixalating the parents faces as well It is not like as if it cannot be done. The Sun did it!

  32. Anonymous12:24 am

    Really piss me off when I saw the papers this morning. From NST, well you can't expect much from them. But the sad bit was the sun online had the pics too.

    I hope someone sues the hell out of them cos they have not done any service for the girls and the families instead of exposing them which instead they should have protected. all to sell papers.

    Tak ada otak punya editor!!!

  33. .......lets see what their uplines has to say on this no princple act,if it was thier loved ones than they will feel it........

  34. I remember last year, our very own blogger, Kennysia was involved in similar controversy when he recount an accident which he blogged with partial shots/pics of the victims(which at that time, no one could determine if they are still alive). Kenny assisted with bringing the victims to the nearest hospital but when his pics were posted on his blog, it brew into a controversy. Some readers suggested he sought permission from the victims family and put up a cautionary warning on the particular article which he did and subsequently the controversy ended.(Please do correct me if some find my account of the events inaacurate)

    Bloggers have reactive mechanism at our disposal(through feedbacks and comments) while mainstream media had gone complacent and seem to think they own everyone's right to privacy as long as it make news for the day.

    Journalism etiquette and plain courtesy springs from good leadership, not from HP6 cronies who's steering an industry which they're inept for.

    The parents humiliated in these papers should remind the mainstream media of their 'morale obligations' by pursuing this in the court of law. It is afterall in KaliUlar's words, "Defamatory!"

  35. We shouldn't be too hard on these MSM folks. These are the only yardsticks and lowest common standards that they know and operate by.

    Aside from the morality and ethics of publicizing the pics electronically or otherwise, it was really pathetic to see the way the parents were forced to shield their kids. Wrapping them up with the grubbiest looking piece of newspaper or umbrella or cloth they could lay their hands on. I can't believe the unprofessionalism, lack of common decency and sensitivity on the part of the authorities who asked them to report to the scene. Such a crude way to gather evidence. Didn't anyone notice that these were children not hardened criminals they were dealing with.

    I don't have to belabor the point, but crooked politicians and BN bigwigs, and adults to boot, have had their identities protected for much less. And if it was their kids they would have been escorted with police outriders and in tinted mercedeces to the scene and the area sealed to the rest of the world.

    But then I guess such a situation would not arise since their brats are safely shielded from the kinds of sordid crimes that haunt ordinary Malaysians and their families.

  36. Anonymous4:25 am

    Actually selain Editor yang tak berhati perut siarkan gambar2 tu, Polis pun sama jugak, kenapa tak halang jurugambar or maybe bawa budak-budak tu lain masa....

    I think kalau anak-anak polis yangterlibat memang semuanya akan tutup setutup-tutupnya.

    Come-on, budak-budak tu bawak umur, tak tau apa2, bodoh betoi la depa semua ni.

  37. i simply can not imagine how the children are going thru when the parents/guidance/police took them to the should happen at all....and worse the media publish their pictures...aisay, tis is not the way to push ur sales la

    really really hope to caught the rite person tis time, looks like a hush hush job to me

  38. Anonymous8:43 am

    Saya suka baca kolum pengarang no 1NSTP dalam Berita Minggu. Memang bagus..intelektual, memang layak jadi ketua pengarang. Setelah lama baru saya tahu yang kolum yang saya baca tu tulisan Johan jaafar. Selama ini saya ingin Johan Jaafar ketua editor di situ. Rupa-rupanya, orang lain lah..siapa ha?

  39. Anonymous9:27 am

    Anonymous said...

    Malaysia's press boleh....'as usual'

    4:52 PM

    Typical Singaporean. Kalau tak ada something yang positive jangan buat posting idiot.

  40. Anonymous9:33 am

    the docotrs have their medical council, the lawyers their bar council. we can report these professionals to their respective councils for misconduct or any breach of professionalism.

    what about errant news editors and journalists. are there any watchdog body that we can report them to?

  41. Anonymous11:16 am

    Piss me off to see these pictures. Can someone please sue the newspapers on behalf of these children and parents (if the parents haven't done so).

  42. Anonymous12:09 pm

    What are professionalism and ethics have long been messed and forgotten in this Country!
    When high Officials can twist things around
    these have long gone to the drain!

    What should be done and What should be avoided are not in the mind!
    Only Dollar Signs sing!!

    Human Rights is hardly there!
    Professionalism and Ethics not maintained!
    What could have left for the country to gain?
    The roots are rotten and forgotten!
    Where are the rocks for a healthy society to sustain!

    Journalism is not the only one in the rain!
    when liability or accountability stained!

  43. Anonymous2:01 pm

    stupid papers, i've stopped buying the NST since 2 years i read the STAR.. nak tolong paper melayu, tapi paper melayu buat taik...

  44. Anonymous4:03 pm

    Rock, minta Pak Lah lantik Johan Jaafar jadi ketua pengarang NSTP lah. Dia sesuai untuk jawatan itu. Mengapa perlu letak ketua editor yang tidak ada idea untuk menulis. Kalau macam itu, tidak perlu adala editor pun tidak mengapa. Rasanya ramai sokong cadangan saya ini.

    Teruna Impian

  45. Anonymous4:06 pm

    Do you mind to ask how if papers published something that only a wild guess?

    Someone has said oil subsidy can no more
    Then they published?

    If every they said, People has to guess and verify
    where should Editors go?

    Where have all the Oil Incomes gone?
    What are the production and prices that go along?

  46. Rocky, three areas of concern in this episode:
    If the police wanted the assistance of these traumatised children, they should have transported them in their police vehicle to the site which should have been cordoned off...and instructed the reporters/photographers not to take pictures.

    Reporters and their photographers have ajob to do. They did their job.

    It was their bosses who published those photos.

    The gravity of blame is on the policer for not being caring and on the editors for not being professional.

    No blame on reporter and photographer.

    Good of you to expose this mis-step. Will buy you a single (sans water) tis evening.

  47. Anonymous6:31 pm

    Haram Jadah

    Low Class Kampung Immigrants Mentality

    -jalan maarof-

  48. obviously the editors did not take a class in journalism ethics.

    What are the academic qualifications of the current editors anyway? Sometimes work experience is just not enough.

  49. Anonymous12:55 pm

    The mainline newspapers better start printing those hardcore porn pic to boost their sales other than preying the unfortunate innocent people...

    In porno,there is no offence since people who appears have no shame & willingly to show everything to you..

    These unfortunate people on the other hand have their own dignity that deserve to be respected by civilized minded society! You press people double-raped them again instead of showing some sympathy!

    Ethics & journalism censorship policy ass shit! Hahaha...Press your own balls.. Shameless press people trying to be so holy without shame publically showing others' woes for sensational motives!

    NST, Harian Metro, the Malay Mail you are worst than Playboy or Penthouse... source of shameless & pathetics!
    At least those porn magazines works on voluntary & pay cheques..not free opportunist carnivourous oxymoron press people like you all..scavanges & hopeless!

  50. Anonymous9:09 pm

    Pardon me but you're not actually helping the situation by posting the images of the parents on your blog. You can do by your bit by removing the images but keeping your comments and articles on here.