The almost-all-girls Nut Graph have called it a night and pulled down the curtains after a six-year run, during the last four of which the site was running on fumes (or love, fresh air and sunshine) after burning through its investors’ initial two-year outlay.
Some reader donations had helped to fuel the site by paying for the weekly editorial contributions of the team, working freelance or from home, Nut Graph editor Jacqueline Ann Surin said in her »farewell piece on Monday; she added she would soon run out of funds to sustain the company, presumably a reference to the balance of the founding investment which she has managed to stretch out for four more years.
Her “dream team” were also heading off in different directions “and my own dreams have also changed,” Jacqueline said. “Running a news site is no longer as compelling as it was six years ago” and she could no longer put in the effort to keep Nut Graph up while chasing her new dreams. Read more…
Who fired the shot that brought down Malaysia Airline’s MH17 over eastern Ukraine? Though the answer to that question still remains a matter of controversy, it is now generally accepted that MH17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. But whose missile was it?
Two days ago, Associated Press carried an eye-witness account by its reporters who saw a tracked launcher with four BUK M-1 missiles going through the town of Snizhne in eastern Ukraine a few hours before MH17 crashed.
“It was lunchtime when a tracked launcher with four SA-11 surface-to-air missiles rolled into town and parked on Karapetyan Street,” Yuras Karmanau and Peter Leonard wrote. “Three hours later, people six miles (10 kilometers) west of Snizhne heard loud noises. “And then they saw pieces of twisted metal — and bodies — fall from the sky.” Read more…
The actions of the Malaysia Gazette crew in eastern Ukraine when its chief reporter was filmed using a stick to poke at, and turn over, what appears to be a body part of an MH17 victim, might well be one of the most unconscionable acts at the crash site so far, especially in view of the fact that there were 44 Malaysians on board, of whom 15 were crew and two were infants.
What they did amounts to: Read more…
The independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, founded by Russian reformer Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, has given Russian leader Vladimir Putin a slap in the face by dedicating its front page yesterday to a full-page apology to Dutch victims of the MH17 air crash in Ukraine.
A Russian-made surface-to-air missile, said to have been supplied to pro-Russian separatists, is believed to have brought down the Malaysian airliner in the rebel-held Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine 10 days ago.
Russia has denied any responsibility or involvement. Read more…
Also removed: a Facebook posting by Malaysia Gazette with a link to the video, taking with it a criticism by commenter Khaled Radzaif, who had said:
Sepatutnya kamu tak boleh sentuh daging mangsa dgn kayu, pijak bangkai pesawat semata2 utk kamera. Etika kewartawanan kamu kat mana?
But a copy of the video was also published at YouTube yesterday, by someone going by the name “Uitm vid”, using the Malaysia Gazette logo for a profile photo.
That sparked another critical comment. YouTube viewer Julie Bakar said:
[Tak] patut jika tahu itu tulang/rangka mangsa mahas. Pls show some respect.
Malaysia Gazette’s chief reporter sticks it to press ethics
Malaysia can now boast of yet another international achievement: membership in the MH17 Journalism Hall of Shame, for a disgusting violation of privacy in death.
The Malaysian act of shame surfaced days after
Dean Baquet and the New York Times were wrong.
They engaged in a grotesque act of voyeurism, treating an MH17 victim, a human being, as merely an object, and viewing the photograph merely as an aesthetic illustration.
Others did it, too, he noted, and he foolishly allowed that to be a precedent, he said in his mea culpa in the Guardian: “Good journalism takes many things and the empathy I hope they have wrought in me is one of them. But so is understanding the boundaries of decency and taste. And from time to time, we screw up.” Read more…
An “incredibly tasteless” and thoughtless act by Sky News reporter Colin Brazier live from the MH17 crash scene in eastern Ukraine sparked widespread anger online, forcing the satellite station to issue an apology.
Brazier was shown picking items – including a set of keys and a toothbrush – out of the open luggage.
The Daily Mail said: “Amid growing anger over the desecration of the crash site and allegations of looting by pro-Russian rebels, Brazier’s actions sparked a furious response on social media.
She also called for a “pawn” to be appointed as spokesperson — perhaps she meant a scapegoat who would appear in public and thus spare the blushes of bumbling politicians or officials.
Several journalists were aghast at the suggestions, especially the one that no Q&A sessions be held. “The whole point of us reporters attending press conferences is to ask questions,” one journalist said on Facebook. “We’re not there to just to take down what they want to say,” another journalist said.
Why journos shouldn’t be allowed to ask questions
Izza said this would:
A couple of journalists and friends were so taken aback by the article they thought it was meant as a joke, perhaps written ironically or as satire. “I had to read it again to make sure: I think she sincerely believes what she wrote,” said one.
Izzah herself said at the end of the article: “I’m saying this … because I’m protective over my country and I don’t like it when people think they can bully us. I want the world to see us as a nation that stand together and have each others’ backs, and to catch each other when we fall.”
Her sentiments appear to be a misguided reaction to the kind of public ridicule suffered by Malaysian officials and politicians after the loss of MH370 in March.
Perhaps there’s a little too much of blind patriotism, the kind of rah-rah nationalism that’s been inculcated by the political establishment, and the cozy relationship between politicians and the editors and journalists of our politicially-owned and politically-controlled media. It’s easy to begin to think we’re all on the same side and should be looking after each other’s backs.
But that approach nullifies the whole point of journalism and of being a journalist.
We’re not on the same side. We never are and we never were. It’s not our task to make politicians or officials look good. It’s not our task to look after their image. It’s our job to find out what they’re hiding.
The day journalists start worrying about “damage control” and start advising governments how to keep the press quiet is the beginning of the end of journalism.
Astro Awani has taken down the original article, but a » Google Cache snapshot is available.
Data shows more SIA flights (75) over Donetsk than MAS (48)
Singapore Airlines has been shamed for apparently trying to whitewash its frequent flights over Ukraine before the MAS disaster on Thursday: data published on Friday showed that SIA was the second-biggest user of Ukraine airspace in the Donetsk region where MH17 was shot down.
A table published by NRK, the Norwegian broadcasting corporation, gives the lie to SIA’s posting on Facebook on Friday which gave the impression that the airline did not use Ukraine airspace even before the MAS disaster.
NRK said it requested data from flight-tracking web site Flightradar24 which showed that there had been 830 flights over the Donetsk region in the week before. SIA had 75 flights, behind the Russian airline Aeroflot and ahead of Ukraine International Airlines, Lufthansa, MAS (48), Belavia, Thai Airways, Air India, Pakistan International Airlines, and Jet Airways of India.
But the previous day, soon after MH17 disappeared, Flightradar itself had also posted on Twitter an image showing SIA flight SQ351 and Air India AI113 close to the final position reported for MH17.
Then on Friday evening, SIA told Reuters: “We have re-routed our flights since the incidents and are no longer using that airspace.”
But that was not what the Facebook said: it clearly gave the misleading impression that SIA did not fly over Ukraine at all — and could also be read as trying to cash in on the MAS disaster. It sparked off heavy criticism on the Internet; last night, the airline apologised, Yahoo reported. A spokesman said: “We recognise that the information could have been better communicated and we sincerely apologise if it had offended our customers and anyone else in the online community” adding that the airline was aware that their initial update came across as “insensitive” to some.
Flightradar24, however, had already made its point on Friday.