Honest journalism and better democracy — Tunku Zain Al-Abidin

Source: The Borneo Post Online


AT their best, you might assume that in a healthy democracy, the realms of journalism and civil society share the same goal. Both want to expand the space – whether in print, online, conference halls or on the streets – in which citizens can discuss the state of the country and debate the ideologies and policies that they believe will take the country forward.

At their worst, agents of both are compromised by undemocratic interests: even in countries regarded as established democracies, newspapers and so-called non-governmental organisations are seen as lobby groups under the thumb of certain political parties, corporations or trade unions. But at least this is mitigated by transparency in terms of ownership and funding, and more crucially, by competition in the media space. In dictatorships, these aspects are absent.

In Malaysia, the print media remains strongly regulated, but the space secured by the mass penetration of the Internet (and then specifically social media) as well as the more relaxed view towards civil society under Tun Abdullah Badawi (compared to the previous environment) has made permanent some avenues for the expression of alternative views. However, investigating certain topics or ‘insulting’ certain individuals are off-limits and can lead to the closure of your online portal or you being in jail. Read more

The Cooler Lumpur Festival — Newsroom Confidential: Reporting the Un-reportable

Taken from The Cooler Lumpur Festival Facebook page

How should journalists report the un-reportable? How should they bring to light those issues which are often deemed too sensitive or controversial, that are in the national interest but run in contrary to national security? Join Jeff Stein – Newsweek’s correspondent on all things related to spycraft, defense, and foreign policy – for a look at how to extricate truth from power, at how to investigate and report on all of those things difficult, dangerous, and disguised.

This is a 30-minute presentation by Jeff Stein followed by a 30-minute moderated Q&A session with Umapagan Ampikaipakan.

Admission is FREE but pre-registration is required: http://yumm.my/CL2017x18

The Cooler Lumpur Festival — Are Malaysian Youth Today as Informed as They Need to Be?

Taken from The Cooler Lumpur Festival Facebook page

The media consumption landscape today is a confusing place, with the downfall of centralised media, the fragmented digital landscape, and fake news. So how do youths actually get access to information these days, and more worryingly…what kind of information are they getting?

Speakers: Judith Yeoh (SAYS), MK Zainal (Soscili), Ian Yee (R.AGE)
Moderator: Chak Onn Lau (Cilisos)

This panel is co-presented with CILISOS.my.

Admission is FREE but pre-registration is required: http://yumm.my/CL2017x18

The Cooler Lumpur Festival — Funding the News

Taken from The Cooler Lumpur Festival Facebook page


Media organisations no longer have a geographical or technological monopoly on content distribution. Journalists face competitors everywhere. Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat are better at communicating to audiences in the ways they want, when they want. Public trust in media is at an all-time low. And all of this is taking place against a backdrop of increased censorship, violence against journalists, and a drastic decrease in global press freedom. How does journalism survive in such an environment? How can it still be sustainable? On this panel, we are joined by three independent purveyors of news, to hear their thoughts on where the next wave of funding for journalism will come from.

Speakers: Jahabar Sadiq (The Malaysian Insight), Malek Ali (BFM Radio – The Business Station), Chak Onn Lau (Cilisos)

Admission is FREE but pre-registration is required: http://yumm.my/CL2017x18

Put truth into the public sphere, journos told

Source: FMT

Former Washington Post reporter John Dinges says journalists must commit themselves to the truth even when oppressed by repressive governments.

KUALA LUMPUR: It is the journalist’s job to put the truth into the public sphere, even when the ruling government is a repressive one, says former Washington Post reporter John Dinges.

Dinges, a former foreign correspondent, recounting his experiences in Latin America in the 1970s, said: “None of the journalists tried to criticise the government, but what they did was try to be more factual and accurate to serve the people with more information.”

Now a journalism professor with Columbia University, Dingers once worked for Time magazine and the Washington Post newspaper.

Commenting on the time when Latin American dictatorships were beginning to acknowledge the American stance on democracy, Dinges said that news agencies began to work around the still-present, but loosening restrictions imposed by the government. Read more