COMMENT | The mainstream media practice of giving more news prominence to government sources has long undermined its credibility and betrayed the people of their right to fair, truthful and accurate reporting.
With the apparent newfound freedom to probe and report since the May 9 election, and possible repeal of repressive media laws by the Harapan government, will we soon witness more critical reporting of public affairs?
I’m afraid not. For too long have our mainstream journalists deferred to the authorities and accepted politically correct journalism as a legitimate form of professional practice.
Foreign and local media monitoring organisations have variously questioned the independence and capacity of Malaysian mainstream media to report fairly and truthfully on public affairs. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng recently cited his experience with the partisan Chinese press during his time as chief minister of Penang, notwithstanding the subjective interpretation of partisan reporting. Umno-affiliated Malay papers before the election were likewise deemed to have colluded against Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s leadership of Pakatan Harapan.
Politically partisan reporting and opinion-based journalism during election time are not uncommon. That’s the mainstream journalists’ ethical dilemma – to give more news prominence to the incumbent and hence be seen to be a government mouthpiece, or to lead with the opposition’s agenda and risk the story being rewritten or buried in the inside pages.
The fact is there were no distinctly unaligned media during the election campaign. None of the mainstream or alternative media made any pretence to independence or objectivity. Here lies the crux – the lack of self-examination of journalistic practices...
Unrestrained power in your hands
For almost 20 years, Malaysiakini has stayed true to the cause of providing the Malaysian public with the truth. We believe that with unadulterated information, the people will obtain power to make informed decisions.
Decisions which lead to a healthy, robust nation - ours!
Keep the truth alive. Support your robust, independent media. You have the unrestrained power to do so.
Who says it's not our fault?
We aren’t trained to take responsibility.
Everytime we observe an injustice - and choose to keep mum - the prevalence of injustice becomes our fault.
Astute journalism paves the way for the public to be continuously furnished with the fastidious truth. You are continuously empowered to act and to uphold the integrity of the nation.
The Rakyat owns Malaysiakini
We choose to take a risk on independent media because we believe that only through independent reporting can one be NOT beholden to the interest of businesses or organisations. This allows us to really pursue the truth - aggressively.
Independent for 20 years.
The victorious people
In the light of holding the truth to power, Malaysiakini will continue to uphold its mission of providing credible news to its discerning public. Your support for Malaysiakini is always treasured as a testament of innate nationalism. Your victory is our history.
Quietly. Effectively. Says it all. Malaysiakini.
Speaking truth to power
When we embarked on this journey 20 years ago, we knew we would face intimidation, harassment, raids, arrests and perhaps even jail terms. We got into this venture with our eyes wide open.
The main reason we have survived this long - when many others have folded - is partly because we are prudent in our finances. But while we may be tightfisted in our budgeting, we do not hold back when it comes to speaking truth to power and holding power to account. And certainly, this new administration will not stop us from continuing to do so.