|The WSJ misses by a mile but "we stand by our story"|
KL, 29 April: In my previous posting h e r e, I wrote about the Attorney-General's two questions and promised I would continue with my notes on his first question [Does the Press Freedom Index really reflect Malaysia's Freedom?]. The conundrum that the WSJ has suddenly gotten itself into over its overzealous - and 100 per cent inaccurate - March 12 report on Malaysia's new Bank Negara Governor (below), however, is too fantastic to ignore: here's a perfect example of the fake news/half-truths/absolute lies that corrupt today's journalism; which was what prompted Apandi Ali's second question during his Malaysian Press Institute talk the other day: Does Society Benefit from Fake News?
|You got it so wrong, Sarifuddin tells WSJ|
Newspapers run speculative stories as part of reputation/credibility building. But they make major speculations only when they are absolutely sure that they will be proven right. That's why when they do get it wrong, they quickly own up. They apologise, sometimes. They replace the errant journalist or editor, or both. They don't stand by stories that have been proven to be NOT true. But the WSJ seems to practise a different culture. U-turn? Aw, hehe. What can I say?
|Victim of WSJ's misreporting: |
"These foreign media should stop their attacks on Malaysia"
So, even the WSJ's "candidate" for the Bank Negara job has come out to attack the newspaper. Is there recourse for the victim? Can he sue WSJ? His name was never even submitted to the Agong for the post!
|The real, new Bank Negara Governor|
The AG Apandi Ali might advise Irwan Serigar Abdullah to sue the WSJ but to me that's going to be too much work. Fake news, false news ... they don't benefit society at all. Half truths are even more dangerous. But a lawsuit is not going to solve the problem. If you plan to sue The Malaysian Chronicle, WSJ or the Sarawak Report for every false news, the AG's courts will be too busy to mete out justice to other, more bona fide cases.
To be cont'd .... Does the (RSF's) Press Freedom Index reflect Malaysia's freedom?