Tuesday, April 5, 2011

High Time in Revealing Reporters From Bernama

I just read a press statement (one mirror here) by the Penang CM, Guan Eng in response to Koh Tsu Koon's statement about Najib never expressed confidence that BN could recapture Penang. Guan Eng continued on to say that:

I find it hard to believe that the national news agency Bernama would dare to misreport the Prime Minister, no matter how excited or enthusiastic the reporter is. As the national news agency, Bernama would have access to the Prime Minister that is not normally available to other media.

The public would never believe that Bernama dares to misreport the Prime Minister, unless the offending Bernama reporter is sacked for such unprofessional conduct and incompetence. Any failure to act against Bernama shows that BN is carrying out a “smoke and mirrors” campaign to recapture Penang by confusing PR and conceal BN’s real strategy of winning back Penang by stealth and subterfuge.

The highlighted statement in bold is the point I want to mention out. Every day there have been countless of spins, with directives from the Home Ministry to make it more feel good for BN. The number of spins are even around the same as with those Malay dailies. Clearly, with some digging of information and sources elsewhere, it comes conclusive that Najib is mislead and misinformed by his own BN people in Penang, thinking that at this point, BN can recapture Penang. However, I can see that it brings false hope, nothing more.

Any article that is written and circulated by Bernama does not have the name of the reporter that writes it. What is the name of the reporter that wrote Article A or so. In this case above, who was the reporter from the agency that was writing that Guan Eng was referring to? This is the matter of accountability and taking proper responsibility of the actions undertaken, in this thing, writing the correct information that happens at that time. I have thought for a few years that it is high time for Bernama to start revealing who are the writers. For example, for that above, you should say "By Reporter X from Bernama", because if they do not reveal that, the whole agency, even those who are not involved in the article process cycle will take the blame because an article authoring will refer to the collective group, not individually. 

Therefore, Yong Soo Heong, as in capacity as E.I.C of Bernama has a big question lying ahead to be answered, from Guan Eng's statement. But from here, I can see that there's not much effect that can be achieved if there is a need to launch a legal case against Bernama for fraud. It is now turning to the people to exercise the right to know, the right to authenticate, the right to compare. The period of hush hush thing that used to happen 30 years ago is fading to time because of the availability and accessibility of information over a platform called the Internet. 

The two paragraphs quoted sums up my point. You can decide if you think you should know who (the reporter that wrote it) or you turn a blind eye away from it.

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