There’s a new opposition newspaper in town

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Soon after it became clear that opposition parties had swept to power in five states, a senior staff member of The Star told me, with a laugh, “Do you know, I am now working for an opposition newspaper – in five states.” Which is true, because The Star is owned by the MCA, now in the Opposition in these states.

Hmm, I wonder if The Star will now be subject to the same restrictions as other opposition papers such as The Rocket and Harakah (actually, these two are now, in a sense, state government newspapers!)… These “opposition” newpapers are only allowed to be published once a fortnight and they can only be sold to party members.

No, I am not advocating that The Star should be subjected to the same restrictions. Just pointing out how ridiculous and discriminatory our media laws are. It’s time to remove the restrictions on The Rocket and Harakah.

Newspapers like The Star will have to get used to this new situation – and already there are signs that they are going to be critical of the new state governments.

The mainstream media clearly performed horribly and dismally during the general election campaign. They actually may have contributed to the BN’s huge electoral setback by painting too rosy a picture of the situation on the ground. This may have lulled the BN politicians into a false sense of security and prevented them from taking remedial action to tackle the deep-seated grievances of the people.

The propaganda onslaught, especially during the last week of the campaign, when the media vilified the opposition parties and targeted Anwar for special bashing – without giving them the right of reply – backfired spectacularly. In fact, I doubt many Malays and other Malaysians who have some sense of fairplay were impressed. The overkill in the vilification could have had the opposite effect of swaying fence-sitters into voting for the Opposition this time.

Now red-faced editors in the various mainstream newspapers seem to be trying to “reinvent” themselves and provide more coverage of the other sides’ views. They realise that many Malaysians simply ignored or boycotted their coverage and turned to alternative sources of information. They now appear to be trying to revamp their journalistic orientation.

Still, we would do well to remind ourselves that their main source of revenue is from corporate advertisers. Thus, even if they now provide more coverage of PKR, DAP and Pas, their overall content is still likely to be dominated by corporate propaganda – not the views of marginalised communities and long-suffering workers struggling to make ends meet. Such propaganda will very likely continue to promote consumerism, materialism and unsustainable corporate-driven development.

Already, there are calls to boycott the mainstream newpapers flying around. These calls are disseminated via emails, text messages and blogs.

This is a piece I wrote for Catholic Asian News magazine before the election.

The Propaganda Machine

There is no level playing field in elections media coverage, writes Anil Netto

FLIP through the newspapers and you will see page after page of propaganda in support of the ruling coalition thinly disguised as “news”. “News” reports of handouts, development grants, opening ceremonies of clinics and promises and pledges. Turn on the television and it’s the same – more election propaganda! Full article

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lau

Forget about reading STAR paper. Waste your money and time because information on politic are not totally true, so why read it. Well I do go to online Thestar for information on stock market dividen, after all it is free. Our Datuk Wong Chun Wah, forget about him, no more reading his colume anymore. When his children have growth up, they wil ask his daddy how he got his datukship. Don’t you think our Datuk Wong can sleep well? Before that I will never miss his colume but forget it Now.

Scott

MSM is biased…

Answer: UMNO ruled.

RPK’s MT got blocked…

Answer: UMNO ruled/ordered

Pak Lah can spend Petronas $$$ lavishingly…

Answer: UMNO ruled

Najib … Altantuya ….

Answer: UMNO ruled

Why the country is poor despite good and plenty of rich vast natural resources….

Answer: UMNO ruled/rulez

Penangboy

I really hope MSM in Malaysia will grow up quickly. As it’s, Dato Wong Chun Wai seems to admit in his recent article in the Star, that the media must start reinventing itself to address the changes in the political landscape. Seriously, I believe it should start from himself since he is the editor of the Star. Constant bashing of the opposition has made him look very “unprofessional” let alone him being a Penangnite himself. I am not bashing him but I am speaking for many hundreds of his former alma mater, St Xavier’s, and it’s quite sad that he… Read more »

Jen

then maybe its time to stop buying those newspaper that have biased report…

dan

To me, all the MSM, especially newsprint papers are just tools of the BN, and their editors as lap-dogs. They just continue to misinform and propagate lie after lie after lie to the rakyat. Unethical and immoral. What they “refuse” to realise is that when you start lying, you will always have to continue telling lies. Thankfully, the bloggers came to the rakyat’s rescue with a lot of information and truth which the BN tried to suppress. Imagine, using the OSA to hide govt contracts that adversely affected the rakyat, e.g., the toll which keeps on going up. Besides, during… Read more »

Andrew

In one episode of TV3’s shortlived Dateline shown during the sacking of Anwar, our learned friend, Wong Chun Wai, opined that freedom of speech works in America because it is a homogeneous society. The African American diplomat to Singapore who was on the program laughed his head off. Do we really need opinions from people like him? I avoid his columns like the plague.

mandela

It was and has been sickening to read and watch the mainstream medias. I am not a member of any political party, but I know and am aware of when I read articles that are so one sided. I hardly buy and read any mainstream newspaper now, because I feel my money isn’t worth the news that I am going to get. Anyway, from what I know, Datuk Wong Chun Wai (is believed to have) got his datukship by Badawis’ recommendation and has always had a close repo with Badawi. He’s forgotten that his main job at The Star is… Read more »

hamidibrahim

yes, I heard about it yesterday that the vincent tan backed (sold) Sun newspapers.
this is also news to me that the Star has changed its colour – but let us be cautious.

Many leading reporters in the Sun (are alleged to) have submitted resignation letters – so vincent
might be thinking it is not worth.

We have to wait and see.

I will one step further – that, is MALAYSIAKINI should start its own daily newspaper.

Hamid

gooeyglobs

Dato Wong Chun Wai will follow where the wind blows. Can’t blame him can we. The Star is paying him salary.

fellowmalaysian

Hi
Just 2 questions;
– i/o trying to re-invent the current msm, can the new state govt allow the establishment of new free press?
– how much finances n fm where does the new states get to run them?
Oh, out of topic, did patrick lim just last sunday changed his ‘widely knowned name’ fm patrick badawi to patrick lim guan eng? is it true?
Cheers

aaa

two ways to stop the propaganda papers. first, restrict their circulation as other opposition papers. two, join boycott initiated by haris/helen. either way, hit them where it hurts most so that the wongs, chins, jocelyns and the other spin masters will be more honest.

caravanserai

The BN propaganda machines The spin and twist will carry on This time giving it more bites To tell the half truth So the country can be ruled Under the Emergency Law Now rumors spread Through SMSes about demonstrations Along the toll plazas in and around the city By UMNO youth……………. On the ground some ask me It is going to 69 again? The government better contain Khairy He is the one many dislike him 513 is history It will not rear its ugly head again Enough of the consequences Derailing the people living The coalition government In the 5… Read more »

Victory or Death

This is a repeat of my posting at kitsiang blog . 1. 2. 3. 4. cg Says: Today at 20: 52.52 (2 hours ago) saubing: I support your call to boycott mainstream news paper and in fact many of my acquaintances are already boycotting them due to their 1-sided reports 1. saubing Says: Today at 19: 01.39 (4 hours ago) to dap-for-pj, I support your call to boycott mainstream newspaper. When hindraf and Bersih hold demonstration, not much were written but when Umno organised a demonstration, they is much coverage and even boast the number of demonstratorsto 3000 (NST) where… Read more »

Andrew

The only difference between all the mainstream media is how you prefer their nonsense: rare, medium rare or well done.

jega

It has long been known to all that the MSM/TV etc have been pro BN.
I have tried switching between NST and Star so many times that my delivery boy grts confused at times to deliver the right paper.
I suppose that all the papers should be published and available the Rakyat who can choose to read waht they want. I am not a small boy at 68, I can differnciate…….

Shyam

Yes we should tell the press that we are not stupid to believe all their stories or news that supports only BN. The best way is for a total boycott. But i am concerned with the news vendors who will be affected. Alternatively i hope the BR would start their own news paper in all languages and also a new tv station. I have stopped buying the newspapers and stopped watching the GOVT controlled media. Remember even Mahathir asked the rakyat to think. I wont want to insult my own intelligence by spending my hard earned money to buy these… Read more »