Photo by jimbicentral.
Journalists, writers, bloggers … we can all go to jail for any of the above. Or we can all end up like one of these…in 2008, 8 journalists were killed in the line of duty (Committee to Protect Journalists).
But do we stop writing, of course not! In fact, it only spurs us on to write more, and more fiercely. Please lar…any arrest will elevate the person (whether journalist, writer or blogger) to celebrity status (though I must say some don’t deserve it at all, hahaha!). A good publicity stunt isn’t it?
As for World Press Freedom Day 2008…
In MALAYSIA (truly ASIA), the authorities gave us such a tight slap on the eve of World Press Freedom Day by sending their running dogs, the police, to harass one of us, RAJA PETRA KAMARUDDIN, editor of the famous Malaysia-Today.
I don’t know about you but I had felt such an insult when this happen. Even my 73 year old mother who came back from her hair saloon today complained about the country’s lack of respect for free speech. She said the saloon (with several senior ladies in curlers) were all discussing Raja Petra’s ordeal yesterday.
Many of them read Malaysia-Today as they have grown tired of the usual newspaper. Now, can you balme them?
So you can imagine…maybe we should thank the authorities for taking so much trouble to highlight this case and for showing Malaysians how important press freedom is, at the same time, running themselves down? Raja Petra told me the other day he’s got something like 8 million hits! Well, this Press (THE) Freedom event will definitly double that figure!
It’s a long way to go, this press freedom thingy. The National Union of Journalists can lament till the cows come home that they also want to report freely but if they continue to kow tow to their paymasters, there will be no end in sight. How long have they existed? As long as the shackles are on the hands and feet of journalists!
All I can say is, we cannot expect our paymasters or the state to give us Press Freedom. It just doesn’t work that way. That would be like asking the sun to orbit around the moon.
Press freedom is NOT a law, it’s a right. So, take it into your own hands, and face the consequences!
May 2, 2008
CPJ appeals for Malaysian newspaper renewal
April 18, 2008 Journalist detained, beaten, while covering street protests
January 26, 2008“Allah” banned in Catholic newspaper
January 4, 2008 Photographer beaten unconscious, reporter threatened
November 15, 2007
Government shuts down newspaper for one month
August 24, 2007
Police interrogate popular Internet journalist
July 25, 2007