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The ‘doctored’ New Shameless Times ‘explains’

Mon 2011-Jul-11 @ +08 12:42:58 pm

by uppercaise
The NST today has what it calls an “explanation” for the huge photo of a Bersih demonstrator used on the front wrapper of the New Sunday Times. The “explanation” is to rebut claims on the Internet that the photo was faked. The trouble with that “explanation” is that it does not quite ring true.

Was it an actual photograph of a protest demonstrator about to hurl something, presumably a tear gas canister back at the police? Possible. But when was this photo taken? It looks eerily familiar. Not just to my eyes: another former NST editor said it looked just like a photograph from another protest rally, maybe 2007’s Bersih rally, or even earlier.

And the NST’s “explanation” of its photograph, and the use of the Reuters photograph as backup “evidence”, also looks eerily familiar.

So, too, does the 14-page coverage of the Berish rally also look all too familiar: the empty church where a wedding was postponed, the story of lost business, the story of “two hours of madness” — even a first-person account by a woman reporter gushing about how exciting it all was. She “almost died in the crush”, the headline said.

(You could have written almost the same story for a first-timer on a Cup final night, or a Sunday night at a PC Fair at KLCC. The crush is quite bad there, too. Sometimes people slip and fall. Sometimes people faint. The only thing missing is massed ranks of police and FRU, tear gas and water cannon. So the NST doesn’t assign reporters to write execrable gushing accounts of the crush at a PC Fair.)

Of course, there will be pages of “heavy analysis” and “commentary” by the NST’s top hatchet men earning their datoships and their fancy titles and their fancy perks.

If the NST’s coverage all looks familiar, it’s because it fits into a formula. The Umno owners of the newspaper, and their security guards masqueradiing as guardians of the law, only want one thing: to look good and for the protesters to seem evil.

Another protest rally? Do what we did before, just update the facts. Rinse and repeat. So there is a stale sameness to the coverage of the NST.

The New Sunday Times was not a newspaper this week. It was a propaganda machine, with a huge team of reporters and editors busy doing a so-called “professional” job, writing exciting stories, producing good copy, checking spellings, writing great headlines, producing award-winning photographs.

The end-result of all that “professional” activity is to produce an effective piece of propaganda. Real journalism not necessary. Just reporting, editing, and photography skills needed.

Journalists not required, loyal newspaper workers will do.

At times of crises, when the future of their owners and their owners’ police dogs are at stake, real journalism — to seek the unbiased truth — becomes a hindrance.

At times like these, the New Straits Times and the New Sunday Times become the New Shameless Times.

It’s not a question of whether one photograph was “doctored”.

The whole “newspaper” was “doctored”.

Oh, by the way, I almost forgot:
» IT’S NOT DOCTORED says the New Shameless Times. All in caps? That alone is fishy.

  1. Mon 2011-Jul-11 @ +08 12:50:18 pm 12:50

    If you get on the KTM Komuter at any point – particularly during peak hours – you can also almost “die from the crush”. I demand more first-person essays on almost-dying in Komuter traints, NST!

  2. Mon 2011-Jul-11 @ +08 13:09:38 pm 13:09

    That picture look like one from the Palestinian Intifada uprising.

  3. hakka permalink
    Mon 2011-Jul-11 @ +08 17:00:26 pm 17:00

    I don’t think the picture is doctored seeing the other batch of pix by Reuters. From the other picture, this individual was at the side of En Baharudin Ahmad when he was lying on the ground together with ?medics?

    It has never been proven the protesters brought weapons or tear gas to the rally. If there were evidence, I can bet it’ll make headlines for the whole week.

    So let’s assume the individual was in fact real and throwing something back at the police, we can safely deduce he’s merely returning a ‘favor’. Afterall, the cops were real generous with their douses of tear gas and water cannon.

  4. james permalink
    Mon 2011-Jul-11 @ +08 18:46:38 pm 18:46

    I cancelled my subscription NST many years ago since right after last GE.
    Was such vomitting thrash, especially day before and on last Election Day.
    Never missed it.

  5. nstman permalink
    Mon 2011-Jul-11 @ +08 20:01:37 pm 20:01

    A lie repeated a thousand times becomes fact. In this case, a lie repeated a few times becomes a joke.

  6. lestrada permalink
    Mon 2011-Jul-11 @ +08 20:23:02 pm 20:23

    It is a Palestinian. That means New Crooked Times has stepped further down the pit. And soon, it will get reinforcement from an ex-editorial consultant and editor-in-chief from MM.

  7. Mon 2011-Jul-11 @ +08 21:12:01 pm 21:12

    the man in the picture claimed the phot was doctored and now will procede with legal action

  8. azmin adnan permalink
    Tue 2011-Jul-12 @ +08 09:37:20 am 09:37

    It is indeed a sad state of affairs… for NST and its owner. Even if they got out of the wrong side of the bed and tell the truth for once, nobody will believe them.
    I remembered once, a new minister vowed to be transparent and be close to the people. He had these dialogue sessions with us hoi polloi in civic halls. That was how it worked. Before the session, the people who were to stand up and ask questions and the questions were already prepared. When he said, “Saya sudi menjawab sebarang kesulitan…..”. Right on cue, the prepared people stood up one after another to ask the prepared questions. How is that for a dialogue session? The world is a stage!

  9. My two cents opinion~ permalink
    Tue 2011-Jul-12 @ +08 11:52:48 am 11:52

    Hey ppl, personally I think the photo wasn’t doctored as alleged. If so, why wld the nst waste one whole page to clarify. They wld have rather sold the page for adversitement, rite? Btw, when you speak of journalism and bias bersih rally reporting, I think u did not realise that NST actually had a a online ‘cover it live’ session where feeds, updates of happenings were posted at almost real-time by the reporters at the respective scenes. The updates were also accompanied by photos, which I’m not surprised if u say it was also doctored. (If this thought is on your mind than, i must say the that reporters and photographers who covered the rally has some hell of a ‘skill’ to make facts n pics).
    It is also not fair for you to stereotype the reporters or even comment of the first person acct cause everyone have different perspectives and views on various matters.
    As you claim, the company may have its own agenda but then i think you should not label all the reporters for bias reporting.
    I’m a reporter too and I’m very unhappy with your claims. We report as we see and if the facts is later altered, or as you like it ‘doctored’, you cannot blame the reporters. Easily said, pls refer to the ‘cover it live’ July 9 crackdown and then you wld know that the reporters are not bias. Maybe years ago, thing were ‘pro umno’ at nst but now the culture has changed and I think one should give the paper and reporters a chance to report without hurling accusations and making allegation.

    • uppercaise permalink*
      Tue 2011-Jul-12 @ +08 13:48:53 pm 13:48

      Dear NST reporter:
      (1) Can you pinpoint exactly where and what the NSunT said on Sunday about what the picture is about, who the man was, where he was at the time, what he was doing at the time, when did this happen and why did this happen? And why there is no caption to the photo on the front page? (2) Have you read my earlier posting on the Cover It Live session? Can you explain why the NST calls July 9 “the July 9 crackdown”? (3) Can you pinpoint which of my comments above were directed at any reporter, except for the Crush story? Did you read what I said about the Crush story? Did you read Subashini’s comment? (4) Why should I not comment on the first person account? It’s my blog. Have you read other first-person accounts on other occasions? Have you read other first-person accounts on Bersih elsewhere? (5) Did you ask News Desk why those assignments were handed out? (6) Did you ask News Desk why those reports were written that way? Can you tell me what News Desk said? (6) Did you ask the Rewrite Desk what instructions were given to them? (7) Did you ask Subs Desk why those headlines were written and why those layouts were done? (8) Did you ask the NSunT editor why the photo was given used for a wrapper? Can you state what she said? (7) Can you show how the NST from 2001 to 2011 has moved away from a pro-Umno culture? Give examples. (8) Can you tell us what instructions were given to editors at the KDN briefing? (9) Can you tell us what instructions Ahmad Talib and Zainul Ariffin were given and what instructions they gave to the section editors? (10) Can you describe what Ahmad Talib and Zainul Ariffin did all day on Saturday up to the final edition?

  10. Kee Thuan Chye permalink
    Tue 2011-Jul-12 @ +08 14:02:39 pm 14:02

    What else is new? You’re right, uppercaise, it should change its name to the New Shameless Times.

    “My two cents opinion” says “the culture [in NST] has changed”. That makes me laugh. Read what that USM lecturer says in that same edition about not seeing any Chinese at the rally. I was there and I saw thousands of them. Yeah, right, the culture has changed; it has become worse.

    Reporters cannot wash their hands of the matter and say they cannot be blamed after they have filed their reports. Do they confront their editors for twisting their copy? Do they continue to allow it to happen time after time? If so, they’re not worth the name of “reporter”.

  11. Yusin Jaib permalink
    Tue 2011-Jul-12 @ +08 16:36:43 pm 16:36

    Sometimes I still buy NST especially on Saturday or Sunday. I buy not because of the news but because they print Soduku. I love soduku…

    • Tue 2011-Jul-12 @ +08 23:15:11 pm 23:15

      yusin, just google sudoku and get daily telgraph’s sudoku puzzles for free… save your ringgit for other things lah

  12. copperhead permalink
    Tue 2011-Jul-12 @ +08 17:42:34 pm 17:42

    Doctored or not that picture on NST front page was picked to put the Bersih marchers in a bad light. For numbskulls looking at the figure throwing something, it would make them think that the protestors are the villain of the piece. The fact is the real villains of the piece are the ones firing tear gas and water cannons without being provoked and the concoctionists for spinning facts according to their taste. So it only shows the NST as the New Crooked Times for spinning as well with words and pictures. But can’t blame some of the journos inside that hellpit of a news setup because they also fear for their rice bowl.

  13. Smog permalink
    Wed 2011-Jul-13 @ +08 11:45:06 am 11:45

    The only way for anyone in Malaysia to be able to read “fair coverage” of events is if they read multiple papers/news portals.

    I cant think of a single media institution that is neither pro-government nor pro-opposition. (the third category are provacateurs)

    So your best bet is to read as much as you can. Take everything with a pinch of salt.

    Also, Where were you when the rally happened?

    If you want an unbiased account of anything that happens in the country, go and find the answers yourself. But make sure you maintain a balance, and give a voice to both sides in your mind before you commit to your decision – Because no information is neutral and “fair” if the eye that reads it is biased.

    You are the judge of your own mind, you alone can choose whomever you favour, and no amount of “information” in the world is going to change what you want to see if you are inclined to believe one over the other.

  14. sam permalink
    Fri 2011-Jul-15 @ +08 15:38:55 pm 15:38

    Honestly, I haven’t read the NST is more than 20 years. This paper should go from the printing plant straight to a recycling plant. Let the suratkhabar fellow make some money on the way.

  15. Sat 2011-Jul-16 @ +08 01:43:45 am 01:43

    I feel sorry for my friends who have chosen journalism as a career in Malaysia. Might as well join an advertising agency or public relations firm – better money and at least you don’t have to kid yourself about the ultimate value and validity of your work.

  16. Sat 2011-Jul-16 @ +08 16:05:41 pm 16:05

    NST – New Shit Times, New stupid Times, …muahahahaha…..

  17. Mon 2011-Jul-25 @ +08 09:12:16 am 09:12

    shameless, shameless, shameless….. more on shameless Raja Petra. Now can you all guys accept this Judas back? Another Ezam Mohd Nor in the making? Did he now reduced to a destitute to beg for food? Somebody please get Kechara guys to hand-deliver daily lunch and dinner packs to him or bring him to SPCA in Ampang. Looks more pitiful than that Eskay Asshole.

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