Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Prostitution of Journalism

Journalists in Egypt, both from the mainstream newspapers and TV stations, have been quitting in droves. They will no longer write as they're told. Nor twist the facts as instructed. No more are they willing to paste labels such as 'traitors' and 'foreign agents' on the protestors. They will not lie, slander and defame for their daily bread. Some of them proceeded to Tahrir Square, where they then joined the protesting masses. This despite threats, assaults and in one case, being chased by men with knives.

In Malaysia, journalists in the mainstream media appear to have no such moral or ethical compunctions.
They publish as front page headlines what is barely fit for a corner column on Page 5. As long as it puts their masters in good light.
They twist and spin at request. In fact requests are no longer required. They well know whats expected of them and jump to precomply.
Where news is not favourable to the ruling party (or their agencies), they black them out.
Some shamelessly present their writings as 'analysis' when it is anything but.

Utusan spews open, blatant, shameless, venomous, unrepentant racism. While being controlled by the party of Mr.Najib Razak, our duplicitious purveyor of '1Malaysia'.
In the case of Theresa Kok, Utusan advocated a lynching. All just in good fun, no doubt.

We cannot comment on TV3's poor propagandists. A coarser, more virulent version of Fox, if such a thing is possible. We watch them no more. And we have taken The Star to task in a different post. Not that it will make a whit of difference.

They are far from The Fourth Estate. Merely corrupted, subservient tools for their masters use.

The rare journalist, producer or TV reporter who balks at dishonest and unethical journalism will quickly find himself on the street.

Nor is it any different in Singapore. The newspapers fall over themselves performing self-censorship, led by the bland, syncophantic Straits Times. Those publications daring  to produce independant reportage, such as The Online Citizen, will be 'dealt with'. In the case of The Online Citizen, they are being forced to register as, of all things, a 'political party'.
We even watched the sad spectale of a 'Making of' documentary being produced about an interview with Lee Kuan Yew. What is this, Avatar?
We get to see senior reporters and editors sitting there looking like so many schoolchildren, awed by their subject, venturing diffident questions and being sternly lectured by him. They would have us believe it is an interview.
A book is then produced about this 'interview'. We haven't read it, but it will no doubt be suitably cloying and fawning.

To that rare honest journalist (and to those who have been corrupted, but wish to start anew) who still works in these publications and broadcasters; quit.

You may lose your employment, but you will keep your integrity.

And your soul.

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