No Directive To Ban Coverage For Tun Mahathir. Is This Believable?
Deputy Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the important principle in news reporting depended on journalism ethics and credibility of the news. "There is no directive for the two agencies not to give coverage (to Dr Mahathir)," he told reporters.
He said the Malaysian media had their own objectives in discharging their social responsibilities towards creating solidarity among Malaysians, regardless of their religious, ethnic and political background.
**** What does Zahid mean by 'news reporting depended on journalism ethics and credibility'? Does the government really give the mainstream media enough leeway to practice journalism ethics and since when did credibility matter to the authorities?
So strong is the public's (well-founded) distrust of the government when it comes to accurate press reporting and claims of openness in the dissemination of information, that not a single person would believe there has been no 'signal' from the authorities to black out Dr M's activities and accusations. With a known authoritarian occupying the information minister's chair that much is sure.
Of course many also say that Mahathir is merely getting his just desserts for having suppressed the media when he was in power. Be that as it may, it does not give this administration the moral right to censor him now and then claim that no such directive has been given. Are RTM and Bernama blind and deaf not to see or hear the type of headlines that Dr M is making internationally and on the internet? The whole world is reporting him except us. Is this the sign of a free, responsible media or a bound, gagged and/or muzzled one?