Don’t put journalists at risk to cover political publicity stunts

Many questions are being asked in the wake of the death of Bernama TV cameraman Noramfaizul Mohd Nor, 41, hit by a stray bullet fired by rebels in Somalia, according to news reports which said he and others in the media team had been going into the city to file their footage. Adbukarim Ali, a security official with the AU-backed government army said: “It is still not clear exactly what happened, and the details of the incident are still emerging,” according to AFP.

The first question is: what was Noramfaizul doing in Somalia (on short notice, it is said) on this assignment, and had he been prepared for working in a hostile environment? The second question is: did the organisers, the Putera 1Malaysia Club, take every measure to protect him, which also means ensuring he had been adequately prepared?

Somalia and Mogadishu are not unknown territories. The country is a war zone. Going on an aid mission into a war zone is not the same as going to Aceh on disaster relief.

Until all the facts are known, the only thing that must be said is this: no Malaysian journalist must ever be put in danger for the sake of some cheap political organisation’s cheap publicity stunt.

Bernama, Bernama TV, TV3 and the Putera so-called humanitarians have a lot to answer for.

Journalists in hostile environments

…security is expensive and can increase the cost of a single reportage substantially…a journalist has to decide whether the piece is worth the cost or not…there are a few golden rules and precautions: the low profile approach is one where pieces to camera are done unexpectedly and unannounced within short durations under 30 minutes, using local fixers to scope out locations and translators, moving around in cars without logos and security guards.
Rasmus Tantholdt, Danish journalist in Iraq

» Living dangerously – safety of journalists in war IMS: support group for journalists in Afghanistan


5 thoughts on “Don’t put journalists at risk to cover political publicity stunts

  1. Well, Bernama, TV1, TV2 and what not want to show that Malaysia Boleh. They want to show that our journalists have the wherewithal to withstand suffering and are ready to die for a cause, mah. You think our jokers care who die or are injured. Idiots, all of them.

  2. My condolences to the deceased man’s family. Did he know the risks that was involved? Malaysia is a peaceful nation, not at war with anyone. Our neighbours are either doing better than us or too poor to take us on in warfare! Yet we spent billions of ringgit on arms. Otherwise,we have ‘important’ Malaysians going around the world, giving away our hard earned ringgit. Charity begins at home. We have Malaysians living in public toilets! This UMNO putera guy should know that it is in good taste to follow this principle. “What the right hand gives, let not the left hand know. Two young boys aged 8 and 3 have been deprived of a father. Politicians please stop the theatrics and just do God’s work. There is work yet to be done in our own backyard.

  3. Agree 100 per cent with Vasantha. Umno should take care of our own backyard instead of sending photographers to basket cases like Somalia. I dont know why we have to send a photographer to a dangerous place like Somalia. Maybe Umno thinks he can take propaganda pictures there.

    • First, my condolence to Noramfaizul’s wife and family on his tragic departure.

      Not that I’m not sensitive or disrespect, let us not forget that his death is just ONE of THOUSAND of deaths that occurred everyday in Somalia, or other similar places for that matter.

      The other thousands died hungrily and poorly! and nobody cried for them as death is seen as a way out of the misery they faced.

  4. Pingback: Don’t put journalists at risk to cover political publicity stunts « For A Better Malaysia

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