Media coverage in Permatang PauhPosted: August 25, 2008
I wrote THIS this morning, about the imam who was present at Saiful’s swearing on the Quran. By now, anyone who’s reading this (meaning those who have access to the internet), would have known about this incident, and would no doubt have read about it in other blogs as well.
The imam made his speech, or press conference, yesterday night. Malaysiakini had it up by yesterday night, although I was already asleep by then. Most blogs had it up by this morning.
It is now 12.26 in the afternoon in Malaysia. Another half-day till Polling Day.
I tried looking for the explosive news of what the imam said yesterday on the mainstream media news portals. So far, I have found THIS in the StarOnline:
BUKIT MERTAJAM: The imam who “witnessed” Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan swear on the Quran recently has urged the public to stop blaming him, saying that he was not a part of any conspiracy.
Ramlang Porigi who spoke for just five minutes during a ceramah at Padang Ibu, Permatang Pauh late last night, said he had no part in organising the entire swearing on the Quran episode, adding that he was only asked by his superiors to be present.
Mohd Saiful had sworn on the Quran in the Federal Territory mosque on Aug 15 that he was sodomised by PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Ramlang said normally, swearing on the Quran was carried out by two disputing parties after all legal avenues had been exhausted.
That is the full article. Located somewhere at the end of the webpage, and if I wasn’t looking for it, I don’t think I would even be able to locate it.
Then I read this from Mustafa K Anuar’s blog:
Berita Harian’s website did not post this news.
A check on Bernama’s website this morning shows that the Ramlang revelation apparently did not catch the eye of the national news agency.
The agency however did post an item that looks more like an opinion piece titled, ‘Swearing by the Quran strikes fear among the Malays’. The piece merely tries to reinforce what is claimed as important to the Malay community, i.e. swearing on the Quran.
The Sun: nil
NST: nil (In fact, it’s interesting to note that NST has all its articles that are related to Permatang Pauh starting with “Battle for Permatang Pauh:…” And all that I’ve seen so far are all from the BN side of things, and all undermining Anwar’s side of the “battle”)
To think that such a thing happened in Permatang Pauh yesterday night, and they had the galls to NOT report on it, or belittle it into something so insignificant. For goodness sake, the guy said that he doesn’t rule out the possibility of it being a conspiracy! AND he gave a press conference. Surely it must warrant more than just a 4-paragraph story that doesn’t even go CLOSE to what really transpired last night!
Some may question why I even bother with the mainstream media. Truth is, no matter how much we don’t like it, the mainstream media is still the forerunner in providing news items to those who have no access to computers and Internet. The mainstream media still have the most coverage.
Sure, we may say that with Internet, our network of news is now increasingly quicker and better. And we get more versions of news. We get some things that are not reported on the mainstream media.
But we must also understand that it’s only half of us, maybe even less.
And that’s the reason why I think it’s appalling, and absolutely horrible how the mainstream media is reporting on the events happening in Permatang Pauh now.
From Anil Netto’s blog, he had this to say about national television:
Just caught the 8.00pm news over TV1 and TV3.
For the first 20 minutes it was almost all BN propaganda. The propaganda centred on four main areas:
- challenge to Anwar to swear on the Qur’an
- 200 “PKR members” crossing over to BN(!) – ho hum, the usual thing.
- greater compensation or financial assistance to the poor/squatters within Permatang Pauh
- rifts within the Pakatan, conflicting ideologies etc; therefore the coalition will be unable to govern the country
We all know that it’s not the first time that the mainstream media is used as BN propaganda tools. This is not unlike the campaigning leading up to the General Elections earlier this year.
In fact, from what I heard from my friends, they were all so bored and pissed at all the unwanted advertisement by BN on TV and the newspapers that they decided to vote against them.
I have a feeling that by using the mainstream media to their advantage, they’re actually doing themselves more damage.
Perhaps if they had learnt a little about “reverse psychology”, the mainstream media could have been used to work in their favour.
But since it’s not meant to be, my bets are still on Anwar to win big tomorrow.