No more NST for Aliran!

By Aliran, on 1 August 2012

P Ramakrishnan explains why Aliran has terminated its subscription to the New Straits Times.

As of today, Aliran has stopped subscribing to the New Straits Times. It is a decision that was postponed several times because we felt we had to monitor the mainstream media’s coverage. But the one-sided reporting and the biased coverage have been hard to stomach; indeed it has upset thinking and caring Malaysians.

It does not mean we are now going to subscribe to The Star. We discontinued The Star and Utusan many years ago for the same reason. The Star’s reporting has been even worse than the NST. (But some might dispute this!) We shan’t even talk about Utusan…

Of late, both The Star’s and the NST’s coverage of the political situation has been nauseating. There is a commonality in blatantly misleading the public. Malaysians are misinformed, told to keep their eyes only on one side of the coin and kept in the dark about the other side.

The Opposition is deliberately denied space in their coverage. The Opposition is misquoted and words are added when they were not even uttered. Repeated and strenuous attempts by the Opposition to rebut misleading reporting are totally ignored, unfairly and unjustly.

Journalistic ethics and adherence to truth are no longer sacrosanct. They have gone with the wind. Spinning stories and inventing lies to distort the truth are no longer antithetical to respectable journalism.

According to the deputy chief editor of Utusan Malaysia, Mohd Zaini Hassan, such wanton disgraceful conduct is fine as long as the Opposition is targeted! He calls it spinning and not lying. It looks like it is a declared policy to support gutter journalism!

This reported admission of unethical journalism is revolting and reprehensible. Mohd Zaini made this remark at a forum on social media organised by Biro Tata Negara and the 1Malaysia Social Media Convention secretariat.

Genuine mass media practitioners practise their craft to get as close to the truth as possible. They should never be partisan politicians, but mass media practitioners – certainly never propagandists.

Appealing to the good sense of editors to uphold decency and morality is not going to make any difference. They will remain indifferent and continue to be tools of the Barisan Nasional, dishing out filth and dirt.

The question is, are we going to allow this flippant attitude to continue at our expense? It is only the people who can bring about change.

It is only we who can bring back ethical journalism in the media, throw out gutter reporting once and for all, and stop this nationally detrimental exercise.

If we stop reading the mainstream media, their circulation will suffer. Once the advertisers know about the drop in circulation, they will stop advertising in these newspapers. Then, the owners will be hit hard where it hurts; the bottom-line will turn red due to the drop in revenue.

Editors will come to their senses. In the final analysis, it is the ringgit and sen that is dear to the owners and their editors – not the values or virtues of true journalism.

When this financial flow is cut off, they will have to sit up and behave as they ought to, by paying homage to truth and justice, and give us the respect we deserve as readers and advertisers.

Aliran has taken that first step to deny them the profits they never deserve as propagandists. Are you as readers and advertisers ready to follow suit? (Some readers may already have done so a long time ago.) Together, we can make a difference and turn this nation of ours into a beacon for truth and justice.

P Ramakrishnan, the immediate past president of Aliran, currently serves on the Aliran executive committee.

  1. #1 by mauriyaII on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 - 6:42 pm

    Is it possible to start a one day boycott of the newspapers spewing out gutter journalism followed by a 2 day boycott until it reaches a week. Then we can see how this SHOW OF AVERSION to gutter journalism has affected the said papers. If it has been effective, then we should continue for weeks to make them feel the pinch.

    For a start, readers and subscribers to those papers in the Klang Valley, Perak, Penang, Kelantan and Kedah should start the ball rolling. These are the states where the English papers and the vernacular ones are read the most.

    The boycott should be planned well and given to strike when those papers least expect it or during a period when the UMNO/BN machinery is out to dupe and con the unsuspecting rakyat.

    Such a time would be to the run-up to the Merdeka celebrations when lies and photo-journalism in its worst are in top gear to sell the corrupted, arrogant and idiotic UMNO/BN.

  2. #2 by rahmanwang on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 - 7:21 pm

    Same here.
    I stopped buying The Star for the past 2 years.
    I realized I didn’t miss much.

  3. #3 by Dap man on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 - 8:18 pm

    My God. Aliran stopped buying NST only today. I stopped some 20 years ago. In fact I don’t read newspapers nor watch TV. They are nauseating. Why should I make myself ill in the stomach.
    All that we should know is now in the internet. Why do we need the print media. Eventually they will all die.
    Utusan and NST are already on life-support.

  4. #4 by Dap man on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 - 8:22 pm

    If Aliran, Pakatan and all the NGO had been united by campaigning for a boycott of the NST, Utusan, Berita and The Star, we would have strangled them long ago.
    The thing I hate most is when Pakatan leaders make statements and answer their journalist questions during press conferences.
    Every Pakatan leader SHOULD ban these journalists from all media statements and conferences.
    Let then cover BN and spin their stories.

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 - 8:39 pm

    Tom Pepinsky has set a very good example for Malaysian journalists. He laid great emphasis on originality/authenticity of reports and would not want to be seen as a politically partisan writer.

  6. #6 by Winston on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 - 9:20 pm

    Malaysians may have got it wrong here.
    Don’t forget that UMNO/BN has the gravy train to supply their needs.
    Just like the road toll.
    You want to boycott the tolled roads, the government will make up for their profits!
    And the money is from the taxpayers’ hard-earned money!
    So, Malaysians, it’s a lose-lose situation!!!

  7. #7 by Winston on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 - 10:02 pm

    Say what anyone wants.
    One thing is certain.
    Those in UMNO/BN have lost their minds when faced with the very real possibility of being booted out of Putrajaya.
    And faced with the stark prospect of having to account for their continuous misdeeds over five and a half decades.

  8. #8 by negarawan on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 - 10:22 pm

    I have dumped The Star a long time ago due to its poor taste and standard in journalism because it is being controlled by MCA. I would recommend The Sun is unbiased in its reporting. It is free and can be delivered to your home for only 30sen a day.

  9. #9 by Loh on Wednesday, 1 August 2012 - 10:50 pm

    Mahathir’s words
    Jul31 2012 Written by chedet

    ///14. Even financially and economically we are not too badly off. The cost of living has gone up a little but people are not starving the way the Africans and some Asians are starving. A generous Government is ever ready to extend help.///–Mamakthir

    Only the person who thinks that he owns the wealth of the nation would say that he is generous in using peoples’ money for peoples’ benefit.

    ///15. Business is good even though we think it can be better. Our exports are high and still growing. Unemployment rate is low. Economic growth is still possible. At 4 – 5% it may not be as good as in Indonesia and the Philippines but it is far better than Europe or America or the countries of West Asia and North Africa.

    16. Admittedly the cost of living has gone up. For the poor this is a burden. Of course on this issue, comparing ourself with most of the rest of the world where inflation is even higher will not be acceptable. But the fact is that in many countries not only is the inflation higher but there are food shortages also. In addition they have to accept reduced income amidst widespread unemployment we are living in troubled times. Like it or not we will feel the effects and we have to endure.///–Mamakthir

    Malaysia is in this sorry state because of the government. Unlike countries which have limited space, Malaysia has abundant land space and yet we have to import food and agricultural products from other countries. We face unemployment when there are four million legal and illegal foreign workers in the country. This stems directly from Mamakthir’s ideology that Malays should only work in respectable occupations to the extent that the existence of a Malay driver working for Chinese tycoon was considered proof of failure in achieving the objective of New Economic Policy. That was what Mamakthir stated in TV interview with BBC. Hence UMNO ensures that Malays and almost exclusively Malays are employed in government services. At 1.4 million civil servants in a 28-million population nation, Malaysia has the highest proportion of civil servants in the world. With a population proportion of 60 % Malays have 90% share in civil service employment. Thus Malays have been discouraged to work in the areas where their forefathers did. Hence in agriculture sector, rubber and palm oil trees will have nothing to export without foreign labour. Poor families cannot afford servants, but Malaysia chooses to lose remittance sent out of the country by foreign workers because Mamakthir found political power in making civil service an extension of UMNO.

    ///17. There will be people who would like us to ignore the fact that we are much better off than most people in the world. They would like to exploit every little misfortune that we may experience. They would even promise that they can bring about sudden prosperity, give free education, and all kinds of goodies. But observe the contradictions.///–Mamakthir

    One beggar may be better off than the next, but with our natural endowment of natural resources, land and oil we should not be in this sorry state. Singapore has no natural resources, not even water, but Singaporeans are five-times richer than Malaysians, in terms of hard currency conversion in market place. This is the results of corruption where 800 billion ringgit have been illegally taken out of the country. That is 30,000 ringgit per person but that huge amount of money belongs to perhaps a busload of people.

    If there is a change of government, corruption would stop, and when the corrupted people are made to cough out their ill gotten gains, Malaysia has a windfall. Free education is then a birth right of Malaysians.

    ///18. They promise the oil-producing states to increase the royalty from 5% to 20%. Obviously this will result in the Federal Government losing 15% of revenue from oil; and that is a big sum. The states get their royalty based on gross income.///–Mamakthir

    It was a robbery to give only 5% to the states which are home to the oil fields. It is most unfair that the appropriation of oil windfall has been at the sole discretion of the Prime Minister. Tun Razak might not have dreamt that oil money could be conveniently used to bail out business predicament of the son of the powers-that-be.

    ///19. They will do away with road tolls, increase subsidies on fuel and reduce rates and taxes.///–Mamakhtir

    The federal government had the resources to build the high ways but it chose to offer the cash-cows to cronies of the powers-that-be. Hence Malaysians motorists have to pay road tolls for generations to come, though over the past three decades toll collections for the PLUS North-South Highway have repaid the cost of the roads many times over. Only a change of government would stop this legalized corruption.

    ///20. Their proposals will reduce Government revenue and at the same time increase Government expenditure. This is exactly what the Greek Government did, and the whole country went bankrupt.///–Mamakthir

    Yes, the Greece has more than 1.5 million foreign workers in its 12 million populations. Greece also cheats with its official statistics. Greece might also have a huge government services and lucrative pay as well. Unless BN is defeated, Malaysia would soon follow Greece.

    ///21. Promises are deep. Barrack Obama promise “change”. Four years into his term, not a single change has been made.///–Mamakthir

    He makes many changes including health care where some get them free. But can America afford his health program may be a larger issue. Obama wants to make America socialist if not communist.

    ///22. To be in power for 56 years is a long time. But look at the progress. No other developing country has made such progress.///–Mamakthir

    In another country, 56 years of government by one party would have changed it to a developed country rather than to remain developing. Singapore is a developed country. Singapore is better off than Malaysia even without natural resources. It is the type of government, not the length of services. Malaysia started as a developing democracy, but it is now a total autocracy.

    ///23. Change is not always for the better. Change can make things worse.///–Mamakthir

    It is certainly so in other situations. But in Malaysia, only change can arrest institutionalized corruptions.

    ///Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.

    Beware of politicians who make promises.///–Mamakthir

    Tun Razak made promise he could not keep. But the people had no choice.

    In democracy, people choose based on the promises made by politicians, and people are certainly able to discern whether the promises are tenable.

  10. #10 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 2 August 2012 - 12:38 am

    Mukhriz: “Govt delivery system among world’s best.”

    Ha, ha, Mukhriz. Bagai katak dibawah tempurong. Itu lah fahaman seorang yang kurang bijak, kurang berpengalaman dan kurang pendedahan.

    Bye, bye, katak.

  11. #11 by monsterball on Thursday, 2 August 2012 - 8:45 am

    To be practical, a Malaysian need not stop buying the Star.
    I never read the front page.
    I turned to the back page and move forward.
    There are so many news that are important to daily lives.
    Every paper is controlled by the government.
    Every Malaysians has their needs and wants.
    I am old and need to read thew obituaries page.
    Children can read papers for general knowledge.
    Writing using a pen and ink is more personal and professional than with ball pens.
    That has gone and it is sad.

  12. #12 by monsterball on Thursday, 2 August 2012 - 8:48 am

    I used to buy Star and NST and stopped buying NST years ago.
    As you can see….NST has turned to be a paper no better than garbage reports from low class journalism.

  13. #13 by k1980 on Thursday, 2 August 2012 - 8:58 am

  14. #14 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Thursday, 2 August 2012 - 9:16 am

    Kinda slow action, aliran. But still, it was a correct decision. Me? I abandoned nst some 15yrs ago. And the star? Since 6 maybe 7 yrs ago. I will only refer to the star (online) for details on robberies that I happened to hear about, esp details relating to location of those unfortunate but extremely common incidents.

    Those msm thought they were doing umno a great favour. It was the complete opposite. Firstly, the bias reporting gave stupid umno people a false sense of confidence and masked the true ground sentiments. As a result umno is now totally detached from reality. Second, it serves to remind people constantly of umno’s arrogance and stupidity and the pressing reason and need to replace umno come GE13.

    Jib jib 1boleh.
    Ros ros 1cantik!

  15. #15 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Thursday, 2 August 2012 - 9:26 am

    Loh quotation above on crazyO’mamak:

    ///14. Even financially and economically we are not too badly off.///

    Not too badly off, crazyO’mamak? Excuse me. 2020 is a matter of (wot?) 8 yrs away. A very short time indeed. In fact by now we ought to be pretty near or at the doorstep of an advanced (high-income?) nation. And you are comparing malaysians with those starving people in the africa and elsewhere?

  16. #16 by machiavelli on Thursday, 2 August 2012 - 9:30 am

    I think the journalists of these papers should take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror and search their hearts and consciences.

    Instead of being the watchdogs for the Rakyat they have abdicate this very important role in a democracy.

    Instead of keeping a check on the trangressions of the goverrnment they have become tools for their political masters.

    Instead of promoting good governance, transparency, fight corruption and abuse of power they have become puppets on a string, beholden to their political masters.

    Instead of being the spearhead for racial harmony they have became the mouthpieces of racial extremists.

    Shame on all of you who called yourselves journalists!

    Bangun Rakyat Malaysia!

    nb: I have stopped subscribing to the Star of late, the NST and Malay Mail, eons ago, Utusan, who? what?

  17. #17 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Thursday, 2 August 2012 - 12:50 pm

    They are not journalists. They are lips. Mere mechanical lips which make noise and are moveable by remote control in umno’s possession.


    “woof woof”

    “Bark louder”


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