Image by Wits, thank you!
He was jeered and booed during his speech. But he was not wrong in voicing his opinion. It’s the bitter truth and journalists + editors must come to terms with this.
Law minister Zaid Ibrahim gave the media a tight slap on the face when he said that they were not united in press freedom issues.
He said that not everyone in the media agreed with deregulating the media and argued that some senior reporters and editors in the field do not entirely agree with total media freedom.
“Do your editors believe in what you are fighting for? Are all the reporters together in this? You have to sort all these things out first, then give us your plan”. (Malaysiakini)
How right he is. He has hit the nail right into the coffin. And until editors and journalists across the board can resolve this issue, no government is going to respect them, ever.
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Journalists did walk after all on Sunday under the BENAR banner. Well done! They defied the warning of ‘security and traffic” by the police. About 150 of them! What a sight it must be!
Thanks to the police too, who were present, but took no action. Of course, no orders to take action, this time, eh? If police did take action, if would have been a slap instead on the face of Zaid.
Kudos to organisers of the event, BENAR, Centre for Independent Journalists (CIJ), National Union of Journalists (NUJ), All-blogs and Writers for Media Independence (WAMI.)
But Zaid’s question above must be answered by these organisations who claim to represent journalists and bloggers.
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Zaid, I must say, continue to hit the nail into the coffin. and it’s time for journalists to reflect on his questions. As bitter as it may taste, I cannot help but agree with him, that media practitioners are sometimes not willing to push the envelope of freedom:
“You must ask yourself first – do you take up an unpopular issue with your newsowner? Don’t assume all ministers are unreasonable”.
This, however, I cannot accept:
“We cannot have total freedom for the media. There is no such thing. If there is, there would be anarchy. If you want the government to deregulate media freedom, you must offer us some alternatives”.
He wants a clear plan so that media organisations can assure the government that they won’t be serving any particular interests.
Hahaha! Look, who’s talking! Editors present at the event, what say you?
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