Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Are Malaysian Journalists Too Professional?

Another tragedy helped to open our eyes, or rather helps to remind us. The Star, theSun (using SinChew's pix), Utusan Malaysia, SinChew, China Press and Nanyang ran pictures of an Iranian man man in flames on their frontpage. The burning pain was most vividly captured in Utusan (image-linked above), SinChew and China Press.

The man then died in hospital few hours later. We felt sorry for the man and angry with those who might caused his death. No one realises how the pictures came about.

The big question is, are our journalists and cameramen over professional that they chose to capture the event more instead of offering help in time of emergency? Is work really more important and precious than life? Or was that true prefessionalism, true journalism?

Most of the time we found journalists who were too engrossed in their work that they offended and humiliated others with they controversial questions, which are normally traps, and they way the questions were posted. Either it was done intentionally or otherwise, they might have assumed that being a reporter they have full access to everywhere.

It is common for cameramen to block the view of the audience while trying to capture their best shot, sometimes step on the toes of the invited guests, brushed against elders and knocked down children. Their moving around during speeches is really irritating.

Some young journalists, or rather forgetful reporters, pushed their recorders right to the face of the person being interviewed. Many a time we couldn't even see the face. It was really a sign of disrespect, as if the person was talking to recorders and microphones.

Some cameramen even climbed on stage to take a close-up shot of the speakers. They, who are supposed to be on the front line of everything could not even use current technology which uses zoom lenses. Worst still, not many of them are properly dressed for the occasion. Some came in slippers, dirty T-shirts and faded jeans. It was a total contrast of the function they were covering. It was not only disrespect but also an eye sore.

When go through the reports on papers the following day we find them missing on the main point. Some events which they were supposed to cover were not even mentioned. Focus were put on controversial matters or from the prepared text of the speakers.

Do we call this true journalism? Are journalists or cameramen still human being? Do they practice what they wrote?

See for yourself, if your are insulted, you are probably one of those who have offended many but no one dare to touch you because you might later get even with your scandalous reports.

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