Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hoping for God fearing editors…

*** In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.************************************ Reflection ******************************** The Family of Imran (Ali Imran)******************** 1. Alif. Lam. Mim.************************* 2. Allah! There is no God save Him, the Alive, the Eternal.***************************** 3. He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, confirming that was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and Gospel.******************* 4. Aforetime, for a guidance to mankind; and hath revealed the Criterion (of wright and wrong). Lo! Those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, theirs will be a heavy doom. Allah is Mighty, Able to Requite (the wrong).********************** 5. Lo! nothing in the earth or in the heavens is hidden from Allah.******************* MAINSTREAM newspapers like Utusan Malaysia, NST, Berita Harian, The Star etc., should also carry similar consumer warning: Reading this newspaper is bad for your health – wrote Amin Mukhsin, a former news editor in Harakah’s English Section in its latest issue, 22-25 August 2011.************************** As a former editor at one of the dailies, I agreed but not totally with Amin’s point of view in his article entitled ‘On Mainstream Journalism – Sigh!’ that journalists and editors from the mainstream newspapers especially and TV, do not write about or tell the truth anymore.********************************* I am reserved with that suggestion; I must admit that there are many good journalists around, unfortunately they had fallen to such circumstances; they have to work under the same roof with those few who have had personal and political motives.************************************* Yes, some of those front liners in the industry carried title of ‘Datuk’, but again it is not right for us to judge their position; whether they are sincere or not in upholding their tasks and profession in the field named journalism.***************************************** A few of my former colleagues, some of them editors, called me, asking if I could help them in securing jobs at my office, saying they were fed up with the ‘unhealthy atmosphere’ at their work place, but when I told them that the pay at alternative media houses was not even half of their salaries, they just hung up the idea.********************************************** Some of them said the pay was not enough to cover their monthly obligations such as settling houses and cars loans. So they just hold on to their jobs, hoping and dreamed that ‘a miracle’ would happen in the leadership of the country, thus making way for God-fearing editors to take charge of their newspapers.************************** If the country were in the hands of leaders who fear God (to Muslims Allah SWT) then everyone including in the newspaper industry would be at peace because there is a hadith saying that the peoples' attitudes and concerns depend on their leaders. If the leaders go for entertainment, then the people would follow suit; if their leader was pious and keen in knowledge like the great Umayyad Caliphate Umar Abdul Aziz, the people would also be of the same trait.********************************** Quitting from one's job is not that easy; what more when one is in top position with a handsome pay. Just tell me who what like to follow the step of Hatta Wahari, the former president of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) who make waves while in office at Utusanwhile now is out of a job?**************************** In conclusion, there are always many God feared journalists around as there are those who have no feelings when trampling on the ethics of their own profession. This situation does not affect journalists only but to all human beings in all trades, may be he/she be a shopkeeper, a politician or a blogger; an example illustrated below, an article from a blog which I just discovered.**************************************** A vindication for the dignity of bloggers***************************************** Well, I don't need to make the title of my post sound so dramatic, as if some people had said vile words about bloggers in general, no it's not that bad, but I thought if the Harakah’s columnist LANH happens to be around town, scurrying looking for news and not cooking it up in bed like his old classmate in UiTM, someone might tweet him to read my humble blog.******************************************** As a government servant, I am not really encouraged to read opposition tabloids like Harakah, but a friend left it at home after he had finished with it and so being the real nosy parker that I am, I could not resist a peek. I quickly went to the English Section, hoping to find something to titillate my blogger mind and there I found LANH's article (Writing news from bed, Harakah 16-19 May 2011) bemoaning the blogger Big Dog ( ? ) whose post was used as a source for the incendiary headlines in Utusan that " Kristian akan menjadi agama rasmi" (Christianity will become the official religion) or phrases to that effect.**************************** Since I did not read Big Dog's blog nor Utusan's headlines I do not wish to comment on that, only on LANH's berating of bloggers in general and of the unscrupulous ethics of such an exercise.(By the way, Big Dog, you do need to have a change of pseudonym, for doggies in general presents such problematic problems for tuhoor).*********************************** LANH rightly points out the absolute need for veracity in reporting and not resort to sensationalism and fabrication as some reporters have resorted to do. LANH then went on to intimate that bloggers generally are a class lower than reporters (the truthful and professional kind like him) because generally the facts in blogs are not really verified but generally hearsay. I know that a great many bloggers are that exactly that as I am afraid to say, so too are many reporters.***************************** Some bloggers are really awful but this does not mean that the stories one reads in the mainstream and alternative media are completely unbiased, pristine versions of the facts as the world knows it, but we know too, for the most part many stories are written for their pay masters. As writers, LANH, we know how to weave tales, veracity can be a relative thing in the hands of these master weavers. We are not called ‘tukang karuts’, for nothing.*********************************** Now I am an academic, and we academics, whenever we write anything we have to submit it to layers of scrutiny before it gets even published. We know all about verification and authentication. It seems to me that the editors of newspapers are the arbiter of truth and veracity here, since the words of bloggers do not get verified by any editor?************************************** Brother LANH, I would like to say that, people who frolic with truth are everywhere, in mainstream newspapers, books, tabloids, blogs, it is not the prerogative of bloggers alone. I am sure I cannot make it to the column of an esteemed paper/tabloid like Harakah of which I was featured for two whole weeks in early 2007 in an incriminating piece written by another academic. Nobody saw fit to check the veracity of the report and I think I contributed to the sale of Harakah a bit too. I only read the delicious bits after being alerted by concerned family members to read about yours truly on Harakah On-Line.********************************** Aah those were good days indeed. I mulled a bit but decided that maybe I should succumb to fame (or infamy) and let things pass. So keep on writing and give my 'salaams' to the managing editor of the English Section.****************************************

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