Visiting Jahabar Sadiq

Never like being late, I had my friend dropped me off at Eastin Hotel at 2:40 pm, and goes around looking for malaysiankini. Yes, I mistook the name, and went through every single block, before finally, literally, got to the one that says Malaysian Insider. Fearing that I might have missed everyone else, I went upstairs, only to get myself back down a minute later and saw Dinesh and Petrina across the street. Relieved, I felt.

So, going up again and getting in, I smelt food the moment the door was opened. Well, not from the entrance, of course. It came from the room where we met our, erm, Jahabar Sadiq. Having been required to look up all about him, nothing attracted me more than his affiliation with Liverpool FC, the one team I had pledged my loyalty. I simply could not resist wearing my favourite shirt to meet this guy.

And it proved a success, I guess, with many football-related topics ensued which never fail to lengthen my attention span. As did his stories and experiences, especially so with a touch of humour. I should say I am sorry for secretly wanting to leave early because it was Thursday, the day I have my weekly futsal session. The traffic is nightmare after 5, and I hate getting stuck in jams, so much that I jogged back to my friends’ place instead of waiting and letting them suffer all the way just to pick me up.

But, I must say I enjoyed the visit very much. Even if this blog post is a week late, I could still recall generally how it was like. I salute thy, Jahabar Sadiq, for being able to deal with us while looking dead tired.

You’ll never walk alone.

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The Impact of The Internet on Journalism

Ever since the emergence of the Internet to us commoners in mod-90’s, gaining popularities at lightspeed and ultimately enhancing the life at home with its countless and very convenient applications. Journalism can find no escape from it either, with news now available online live.

The Internet has provided an alternative to the traditional print news. Heck, it has been more than an alternative. The news on the Internet are often more up-to-date and amendments on the news can be made almost immediately should it need.

What’s more, comments from the readers can be posted online too. The comments to traditional print news takes days and even then only a selected few would return for a reunion with its writer through the newspaper. The online news comment have no specific editor to filter the messages.

The immediacy of news availability and feedbacks has nonetheless attracted more and more readers, plunging the readerships of print news to new-found depth.

Ultimately, prints news company begins setting up an online correspondent, for example The Star Online, which has a brief and shorter version of similar news to its newspaper counterpart.

There is the lack of real censorship on online news and virtually any users can make a news out of nothing. There would be no editor, at times would be seen as an obstacle to truthful news.

There is just no stopping the rise and rise of online news on the Internet.

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We the Media review.

Chapter 1

The media and journalism are constantly evolving, moving from one era to another.  It was only made more noticeable since that fateful day on 11th September.

The US Constitution’s First Amendment had preserved the freedom of speech. It was seen as the fundamental part of a free society. It had also given license for journalists to report as truthful as possible, unlike in Malaysia where the mainstream media is owned and constantly under the control of the government where most of the reports that pose a so-called “threat” or a disadvantage were never allowed to be published.

Ironically, Thomas Jefferson, who once declared to choose newspapers over government, came to loathed the press he once praised after being the President himself.

Personal journalism, better known as citizen journalism nowadays, came to existence back in the 18th century. It appears that even back then when the First Amendment had not been implemented, the Americans had been publishing their individual writing at great personal risk. In modern days era, these personal writings have evolved with technology, enabling blogs be accessible online so easily by so many it could match a newspapers’ audience, especially when everyone is able own a blog and it generally does not cost a penny.

Chapter 2

It is understood that blogs was a result of online media evolution. It used to be in the form of e-mail, where the message had to be forwarded to all the receivers, and only the receivers had access to the message until they further pass on the message, much like the spam or viral mail.

The journalists are commonly perceived to be ahead of the public in getting any information, but the availability of the Internet has allowed non-journalists to keep pace. It becomes a real possibility that anyone who has access to the Internet would know much more about anything in greater details than any given journalist. Add to that that professional journalists would always be outnumbered means they could be playing catch-up sooner or later.

Given the fact that the citizen journalists and bloggers do not work for the media, it could help endear themselves to the public as they too, were once a mere audience until they decided to take matters on their own. The stories on their sites are often different to what has been published, creating two sides of stories, with the stories from the media often losing their battle for credibility. The aura of closeness to the public from the bloggers has worked to their advantages.

Chapter 3

The ability to make news is no longer an exclusive to the journalist. It was written that the mainstream media was under immense pressure, from the bloggers who has long been writing the story that no newspapers dare to publish, before finally giving in to publish Trent Lott’s racists remark during a presidential campaign. Lott’s resignation followed the intense scrutiny and the bloggers claim their “first major scalp”.

Bloggers were able to gain support from the public more quickly than the media could, mainly because those who visits the same website are more likely to share an interest in common, an opinion, or a belief. These people were able to unite and could easily bring in more people as the population grows ever so quickly.

It is understandable that the Hong Kong government decided not to publish any news about the SARS outbreak in late 2002 to avoid panicking their citizens. The news eventually leaked to the public through SMS, and the media had to cover the story probably much earlier than planned. The public has shown to be able to alter an outcome, even through a mere SMS. The Internet has provided the users a platform, able to reach millions of people they do not even know existed.

Chapter 4

The bloggers seemingly are now able to replace journalists, yet the journalists, most of whom had been trained professionally, have a trump card up their sleeves. Journalists’ interview goes into much more detail, and it does not end with just one person. They ask everyone. About everything they have to know to write to inform the public. Journalists have always knew. More often than not, blogs are mere opinions, without going through much censorships, if any. Bloggers could never have known, or at least as good as an editor, what exactly the public has to know.

CONCLUSION

A journalist should still be considered as the more reliable source of news for the public over bloggers with their proper skills on gathering news and determining news values of the story materials. It has been said that anyone who could write well could be a journalist. Wrong. People with good writing skills can always be a good writer and good writer only. They can run blogs so fascinating they attract tremendous amount of readers, but they should still remain mere bloggers. Otherwise, I must be the dumbest man alive, spending on tuition fees to become a qualified journalist while a blogger gets equal recognization sitting at home and brags about it.

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