RTM should serve its rightful masters - the Malaysian people

Zan Azlee


COMMENT | Dear YB Gobind Singh Deo - With all due respect, the debate of whether our national broadcaster RTM should be broadcasting live this minister or that, this menteri besar or that, or if they are only obligated to broadcast the prime minister, just seems to be missing the point. What really needs to be discussed is the issue of who is RTM really obligated to.

About five years ago, I was on a press junket overseas with several other journalists who were from RTM and Bernama (our national news agency). Somehow, the conversation moved towards how Malaysia was being represented in foreign countries.

Then, the RTM and Bernama journalists said that they have always been told by their bosses and the ministry that whenever they were overseas, as RTM and Bernama journalists, they were supposed to represent the Malaysian government. This really irked me (of course, you were not the minister then!).

Firstly, they are journalists and not diplomats. Secondly, as much as journalism is a very important part of democracy, journalists should not be representing a government. Journalists and journalism exist to serve the public and act as watchdogs observing the government...

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