COMMENT | I was reading with much interest the latest installment of R Nadeswaran’s column in Malaysiakini titled ‘Providing fair and accurate news in New Malaysia’. In it, he conveyed his argument that there should be freedom of the media no matter who makes up the government.
He elaborates that many people have been adamant that BN, who are now the Opposition, should not be given so much time and space in the media because of the decades of authoritarian rule they had imposed on the country.
In fact, Nades even relates several instances where he has seen articles that were favourable to BN appearing in the media, then after a short while, would ‘disappear’. He is worried that censorship has re-emerged in the media landscape.
He is worried that editors are once again making the call on what we can or cannot be exposed to, and mostly this just happens to be things that are detrimental or negative to the current government. His question is - is the apple-polishing culture coming back again?
Unlike the previous BN government, the current government has not made any demands on the media on what they should or should not report. The previous government used to even stop journalists from specific news organisations from attending official press conferences.
I have to agree with Nades and I have seen it happen too. I have seen news organisations that were utterly pro-BN when the coalition was in government but, internally, they complained that they couldn’t give the other side enough coverage due to ‘circumstances’.
But now, when Pakatan Harapan is the government, they suck up so much by giving them the same kind of coverage they used to give to the then BN government that they totally forget about giving equal coverage towards the new opposition. And that isn’t so fair now, is it?
There are also journalists who were never pushing the boundaries during the previous government, but now, are suddenly so vocal and opinionated they think themselves as brave. Please! It doesn’t count as bravery when the risks are not longer that high. But that is a rant for another day....