Astro takes down ‘damage control’ article
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.