Disclaimer: The following post is nothing but merely the thoughts of the writer towards recent HEADLINE of an article published by a local news publisher.
The most heated topic is undoubtedly still the recent 13th General Election. Generally speaking, ever since I entered university, newspaper has become unfamiliar to me. Being a student majoring in journalism, it should have been the other way around to so-called keep tab with latest news in the nation. But honestly who needs that. Everything is all over social networking sites.
However, whenever I had the chance, I’d still like flipping the paper reading those neatly edited and arranged articles. It’s something I grew up with. Regardless of how advanced technologies nowadays are, I still think spending that few ringgits to buy a copy of printed newspaper is worth it. It’s a daily collection of hard work of journalists. At least, until I saw this:
What came to my mind was: Really?
I am not unfamiliar with the media being manipulated, but to this certain extend, it greatly disappoints me. This country is far from practising media freedom, that, I am very much aware of. But being raised in a multiracial country, I was being taught that provoking racist issues are strictly against the law according to our constitution especially when it comes to things involving the mass media. There was a time when the Internal Security Act was still being implemented, it was widely used to arrest anyone who were suspected to be provoking sensitive issues such as racism. But now? (I’m not saying it is right nor in any way indicating that Internal Security Act is rightful to be implemented.)
Racist articles and headlines are rising to fame in local newspaper regardless of its language and the government has done nothing to stop it.
What it reflects? It reflects how irresponsible local news publishers and journalists are. And to me, it is an utter disgrace to all Malaysian journalist to have people coming up with such headlines. Such infuriating headlines. When I first saw the: Apa lagi Cina mahu? I brushed it off since this publisher is known to publish ridiculous and racist articles, fact is, seems like it infuriated more Malay than Chinese.
But when the Star came up with: Urban Chinese the real losers. It sort of really ticks me off. Well maybe because The Star was a family newspaper and it has always been my preferred newspaper. It was at first, a wave of disappointment, washed off by a wave of anger and next, clouded with a surge of sorrow.. finally, I felt a pang of fear. Fear for whether is there a place that I would want to be upon my graduation, or even for my internship.
I wonder what came across the writer’s mind when he came up with such headline. Headlines are supposed to be catchy, but that particular headline isn’t catchy, at all. It is infuriating and offensive. Not only it is racist but it is also stereotyping.
Never mind the contents of this article(which basically terrorizing Chinese in Sarawak with the consequence about their choice in the 13th General Election) the headline itself, Urban Chinese the real losers? Aren’t you yourself a Malaysian that happens to be a Chinese who lives in an urban area too? What crossed his mind when he did this article? With non-stop highlighting how ungrateful Chinese in Miri are.
I don’t want to have any particular statement that defend my own origin because I know enough that other Malaysians regardless of their origins would know enough by now.
The mainstream media in Malaysia is such a disgrace to journalism.
I do not doubt myself about wanting to be a journalist. But I begin to fear what would become of me in the near future. If I were to be the one who came up with such articles, what do I tell my parents? What do I tell myself? No. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna start on what do I tell my kids.
Isn’t it ironic how suddenly the media gained its freedom to publish such sensitive issues all out of a sudden, right after the election?
Please, do justify, criticize or enlighten me.