Rotten journalism from a rotten society

A comment was posted here yesterday that is typical of the blanket condemnation of Malaysian journalists that frequently arises especially from the chattering classes of the urban middle-class. In Internet terms, the commenter was a troll, completely disregarding the points in Saturday’s piece How about prostitution, for Hew’s sake or a previous piece Political hacks knife media ‘pimps and prostitutes’ surfacing only to make a put-down, the kind beloved of policemen and sometimes of parachute foreign correspondents.

Malaysian journalists deserved no respect, the commenter said, because of “half a century of manufactured news, political propaganda and apple-polishing”, an observation that thus conveniently absolves Malaysian society of condoning and meekly accepting the corruption of Malaysian journalism by political and business interests.

The rotten quasi-totalitarian Malaysian political system that has grown over the past half-century was also meekly accepted by the masses. Western media and their local flunkies, sometimes in tandem with their foreign offices, were also quite prepared to praise and even provide fawning support by turning a blind eye when it suited them.

House of Commons testimony

Time magazine coverIt’s a bit rich of those who were always a part of the gravy train to now condemn Malaysian journalists for being little different from what they themselves have been, collaborators in the prostitution of Malaysian democracy by business and other interests, some of them large transnational conglomerates. Frigates and fighters, tanks and technology transfers have been a powerful incentive to forget principle.

That political flacks for opposition parties have now become highly regarded as torch bearers of crusading independent journalism is merely the other side of the coin of a Malaysian polity gone rotten: Malaysian politicians of either side are as willingly indifferent to repression, as others of that ilk, by conveniently looking the other way when it’s not in their interests to notice.

They had a lot of help from friends at that.

Such friends. Friends like you wouldn’t believe. Feh.


7 thoughts on “Rotten journalism from a rotten society

  1. To take on the corrupt and ferret out evil and wrondoings is your job as journalists. You are not entertainers and gossip mongers mandated to titilate and intrigue.
    Your duty as the ‘Fourth Estate’ should have been sacosanct.

    • Tell that to the politicians who own 85% of the media. You might also write to the central committee of the communist party of china and tell them; the analogy of ownership and control is pretty much the same. And spare us the mauldin preaching, we’ve heard all that and worse for half a century and we’re still struggling with it despite armchair critics.

    • What did you and the rest of Malaysian society do? One million people who read the Star, half a million people for NST, two million readers for Utusan etc. The people who buy Star and TV3 shares? Or watch Astro? Or patronise McDonald’s. Did you people do anything? But you support dirty, filthy corrupt politicians, backed by dirty, filty policemen and dirty, filty soldiers. And then you complain with anonymous comments, and click ‘like’ on Facebook and think you are champions of liberty. Ptuuii.

    • we went and voted them out in 5 states, thanks to real journalists who stuck to their guns working at news portals under daily surveillance by the ISA and police. Thank goodness for the internet, else we’d still be reading BN-sponsored stories
      anyway where were you? coffee at the lake club? creating bylines to soften the impact of BN’s power-grab in Perak?

    • trying to stay alive by fending off the arseholes of sb and the military and the arseholes who pose as reformers, as with the past 30 yrs. mkini was the only online target of the sb, not online media, and the influence of online media is over-rated. i don’t club or golf.

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