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A cadet journo’s fear of journalism

Wed 2014-May-7 @ +08 14:43:25 pm

MARIA J DASS
formerly a reporter with The Sun, now freelance
Where’s the balance in the news? – FZ.com

Pak Non (the late Zainon Ahmad) asked: “Why do you say that there is no such thing as press freedom?” I told him that I was not convinced that the press could truly be free. If it is not the government that controls the content, it would be the media owners themselves, I told him, having been at the receiving end of stories being spiked or rewritten because someone in management or higher authority thought it fit to do so.

I remember telling him about the fear I had … when I first became a journalist. [I had read The Tangled Web: Dissent, Deterrence and the 27th October 1987 Crackdown while at university and the book]… injected a tinge of fear and affected the way I presented my reports as a cadet journalist. It was to the point that I found myself practising self-censorship.

But with the help of some of my editors who pushed me to the edge by telling me to look for stories, put in quotes and look for more daring angles for my stories, I managed to overcome this unfounded fear. I remember being scolded by one editor who told me to go write for children’s magazines if I was too afraid to push the envelope.
» READ THE FULL COLUMN — Where’s The Balance in the News? [FZ.com]

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