Malaysiakini NEWS

RTM newscasters take 'punishment' in their stride

Adrian Wong Gah Junn
Published:  |  Modified:

If one were a newscaster, what is it like to be 'punished' by being made to read the news for almost 20 minutes straight without breaks for video footage?

This was the fate that has befallen Mandarin newsreaders at state-owned RTM, following a purported 'punishment' meted out onto their newsdesk.

Starting yesterday, RTM's Mandarin segment newsreaders have been reading out their scripts without any breaks for video footage, reportedly as a ' punishment ' for the desk airing an unflattering photograph of the prime minister.

"Pure talking only by me on Oct 29. […] I made history," RTM Mandarin newscaster Liew Chin Yip quipped on his Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Teo Chong Lim, who read the afternoon news, wrote on his Facebook page that it was positive experience, in terms of facing job challenges.

"To determine the level of a news presenter, it is whether he can still remain calm when being harassed," he posted.

Additionally, after video footage was stripped from the Mandarin news segment yesterday, today's broadcast was without the superimposed headlines in Chinese.

The newscaster slated for tonight's segment was more gung-ho.

"No matter whether it is a crisis or a favourable turn, (I'll) go all out at 8pm," wrote Goh Sook Fang, who is on tonight's Mandarin evening news over RTM2.

Unflattering image of PM

RTM current affairs news director Wan Bukhari Wan Daud could not be reached for comment while his deputy Abdul Muis Shefii said he was not aware of the matter.

RTM's head of Mandarin news Tan Lee Won told Malaysiakini yesterday of the directive banning the team from using any visual in their broadcasts.

Sources claimed the punishment was due to the Mandarin newsdesk’s use of an unflattering photograph of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak during its 8pm broadcast on Tuesday.

The image was displayed when the RTM Mandarin newsreader reported on Najib's successful bid in staying PKR's lawsuit against him for allegedly breaking general election spending regulations.

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