Publish correctly or be damnedPosted: May 3, 2008
This is the message that The Star has sent out in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day today.
Freedom of the press is vital for healthy democracy
This basic demand for civil society has become clearer under Malaysia’s new political landscape, transformed dramatically by the March 8 general election. It is a change that must be embraced, not feared.
To progress into a truly democratic society, we need well-informed citizens who can make sound judgments on policies that affect them as well as those who formulate the policies.
Much of this hinges on the role that the media plays. In the past, the mainstream media, The Star included, was maligned for its scope of coverage.
Most were guilty of being constricted by restrictive laws like the Printing and Publications Act and the annual renewal of publishing permits.
With today being World Press Freedom Day, we want to make a pertinent call for the repeal of outdated laws and regulations which stifle the very tenets of journalism.
With the intensifying competition, readers and viewers, who are armed with information as the true source of power, will determine the survival of any media. The simple message is this: Publish correctly or be damned.
It’s about time they realised that press in Malaysia is not up to standard with what we claim it to be. And if the newspapers can see this fault of theirs for themselves, then all is not lost yet.
We need good journalism, good reporting. And it’s not what we’ve been getting for years already. So many people have lost hope that the press can ever be equal in what they print.
But the press cannot do this by themselves. The government must be equally ready for this. The government must be equally dedicated to wanting media reform.