After my initial reaction of disbelief, that was what settled in once I’d finished reading the Warning by esteemed Information Minister more or less forbidding mainstream media to quote any information from blogs and websites. According to him, the websites and the blogs are all created by frustrated journalists and political pundits. He mentioned that the mainstream media would be disgraced if they quoted information from all these blogs and websites.
Notice that those are valid points. I will go far enough to agree with the minister that if the mainstream media is silly enough to quote whole-heartedly from the websites, then they deserve what they get, which is ridicule and the like…. waitaminute! Don’t some of the national-language dailies already suffer from such lack of credibility? Of course, in many cases these people are quick to say they have been slandered, but in some cases (think the Deputy Internal Security minister who insists that he is innocent though he did admit to releasing the prisoners, though no reason was forthcoming) it promotes transparency.
To a certain extent, it puts politicians and office holders in the spotlight and forces them to acknowledge their responsibilities and actions, which I believe is a good thing. Our Prime Minister is big on transparency, and his call to the minister to explain himself instead of telling the media to back off is commendable. (Yes, I am a Badawi Fangirl). Of course, coming on the heels of local town councillors who still act like little Napoleans and with no one to bring them to account, it seems unfair to have the spotlight solely on the bigger politicians.
Truth to be told though… I really don’t see the issue.
I’m more worried about this though:
Zainuddin advised readers suspicious of the information posted on blog websites to refer to the mainstream media to get the true picture.
I smell propaganda.