Sunday, May 31, 2015

MEDIA GATEKEEPERS TURNED MEDIA GATECRASERS: A TALE OF THE MALAYSIAN NEWSPAPER COLUMNISTS WHO DO NOT REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE MAJORITY

…THEY WHO SIT IN THEIR SMALL OFFICES TYPING THEIR PIECES ON A WORLD THAT IS ALIEN TO THEM.
By Mansor Puteh


First of all they are not newspaper columnist in the right sense of the word; they have no credibility.

In Malaysia everybody can be a journalist and editor; they are not expected to be qualified and trained to do the job.

To many of them the job of the journalist or reporter is to write reports.

No wonder some of them had surrendered themselves to the cause of the others, particularly America and the west that had managed to infiltrate into their organizations long ago when the newspapers were owned by the British and more so later when they were supposed to have been nationalized.

Yet, most of them still have the same editorial policies that their English masters had created earlier.

In the end, many of the English language and even Melayu newspapers and even magazines have become propaganda tools for America and the west.

They are mostly newspaper columnist-opportunists; they who grap a column because they happen to be working with some newspapers mostly as editors and sub-editors.

They are not the media gatekeepers they are all paid to do, but media gatecrashers who they are not, forcing their ideas however weird to anyone. But most of the time nobody listens to them and their diatribe.

Everybody has their own ideas and opinions on anything; so theirs are better for them to keep.

Most of them are also not well educated who have no real specialization on anything, so no wonder their perspective is limited to who they are, Melayu, Chinese or Indians and ‘lain-lain’, and which religion they profess or none at all.

Why is it so difficult for any of them to pursue their further education? It is not. But they are just not interested to do that.

They are happy to be able to write in the same way they have been doing and on the same matters and in the same style with the same substance.

So no wonder their market value is slow and they have to stick with the same media organization, since the others do not want them.

Many of the non-Melayu have their unMalaysian views on anything but they hide their politics between the lines and by using words that have many meanings especially ‘MODERATION’.

They won’t want to use Melayu, only English since they are not able to use Mandarin or Tamil.   

They have managed to get some unsuspecting Melayu to side with them, they who did not know better how they were being made used of by them, the Melayu who can never get or to share their views in the Melayu media because they behave or misbehave more like the old British colonialists that the Melayu had sent packing back to return to their own countries long ago.

And they never bothered to pursue their education at the graduate degree level because they feared they would be smarter as a result of getting that education and which could cause them to be less vitriolic in what they want to write some more.

No wonder, Malaysian journalism has the least qualified people in any industry in the country and that Malaysian journalism has regressed that it now serves American or western interests and those of Hong Kong and India.

That Malaysian journalism is third rate is to say it mildly and it is not a criticism of it but a general description, as it is a well-known fact.   

Their only skill is that they are able to write in general terms in Melayu and English. There are so few who are bilingual.

And none of them has ever gain international recognition for their writing with some who have got it locally, including being sued in court for defamation.

I do not care so much for the vernacular Mandarin and Tamil newspaper columnists because they are not interested to relate with anyone who does not read in these two languages, because their newspaper websites do not offer translations of what they write or report.

Malaysian journalism is such that all of the editors and also sub-editors must also write or they won’t be read.

There is no real glamour in being a journalist or reporter or sub-editor or editor, so they have to have a column each for them to express their views on anything which are unsolicited and mostly not well read by their readers.

There are a few of the more vocal and prominent ones who write on the same issues using his or her limited knowledge and understanding of them; and they are the ones who only attend functions at five or six-star hotels and who do not ever go to the pasar malam where the hoi polloi is.

Yet, they all claim to be writing on behalf of the ‘silent majority’ who are unlike them who speak in Melayu but they only do in English. 

Despite that none of them has ever been given recognition as columnists; they write because they think they have ideas and views to share with their readers.

In the end, their newspapers are about their columns and their personal view and opinions and not so much of their readers and newsmakers.

They are supposed to be the media gate-keepers but they became media gatecrashers.

Most of them do not mix with the public; they have no time to do that.

And most of them also do not go to certain place but to other places which catch their fancy the five or six-star hotels and fancy establishments, speaking mostly in English a language not for and of the majority in the country.

So the newspaper they write or edit for have become organs for the expression of their personal views.

And the issues they raise are mostly of their own choosing.

The vernacular newspapers are too chauvinistic; they are no different than the English language ones which are dominated or controlled by the non-Melayu who are as much.

These newspapers hardly ever care for the well-being of the Melayu.

Even the vernacular newspapers only write on and of their own kind and if anyone shows the inclination to become full-fledged or better Malaysians speaking in the national language of Melayu he or she will be disdained.


But what I hate the most are the opportunist-writers who have their own columns just because they are working in the newspapers or who had been sent there by their political masters who did not know better who they were, hacks who write anything as long as it sound pleasant to their masters. 

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