Friday, December 5, 2008

Journalism nowadays... NO SUBSTANCE!

I remember journalism during the 80s and early 90s. So much fun, so much excitement and lots of energy. When I mention energy, the stories, the write-ups and the impacts were.

Journalism then was not only a profession but an arena to carry the people's voice across. The reporters did not depend much on assignment but created their own instead. They produced good analysis and comments to the satisfaction of readers.

However, it is sad to note that journalism nowadays is bound to mere reporting - no hard analysis. What appeared in the print media today are straight-forward reports, almost 85 per cent of which are politically-oriented and tailored to some leaders.

We dont have anymore good crime and court reporters who try to unearth the truth behind the scene, like what ex-Bernama reporter Ahmad Puad Onah (now with Grand Brillance) did until the early morning when Botak Chin was about to be hanged at Pudu Jail.

We dont have anymore the calibre of A Kadir Jasin, Hardev Kaur, Ahmad Talib and Ahirudin Atan who went deep into certain issues and produced materials of international standard for the newspapers.

Where are the likes of Nuraina Samad, Ibrahim Yahya, Jaafar Hussein, Abu Bakar Ismail, Nashruladdin (now with Malaysiakini) and Sufi Yusof who always made a non-issue topics into most interesting articles?

Reading newspapers and watching television nowadays are to confirm what we have heard on the streets, except for few.

Economic analysis are hard to come these days. During my tenure at Business Times, names like Fauziah Ismail, Kartini Kadir and Mustapa Kamil (Mus is still with NST) are the good ones. Ho Kay Tat, too got a class of his own.

Journalism after 2000 did not augur well to the business of the media institution itself. Most journalists are there to 'makan gaji'. Quality of reporting has taken a big dip ever since some 37 senior journalists (many of whom are Malays) left their respective media companies in 2000 or 2001.

During the 80s and 90s, we even sent out our reporters for a two or three month stint at foreign media in Japan, Korea, Indonesia, England and other countries on a reciprocal program.

We dont have that anymore. If not for foreign assignments to cover the Prime Minister or other senior leaders, our reporters would be geographically-blind.

No wonder the circulation of mainstream newspapers are taking a big dive of late. Why? The editors or the bosses are too busy with politics while their staffs are made to provide pillars to their interest.

Forget about good stories which concern the rakyat. Politic is numero uno!


ShokorBotak said...


U are right Bro.

Beside the big name given, u must not forget to the others journalist in yr era 80's and 90's and also the men behind[who hv given thier contribution and idea's to the journalist too].

Salam Qurban

Jurublog said...


I truly agree with you - Journalism in mainstream media is bad.

I also noticed that that are not many senior Malay journalists in the mainstream media. The Malay writers are also missing from the alternative media.

Most of the senior journalists are Indians and Chinese. We have Gunasegaram at The Star, Shanmugam at The Edge group, Barandan Kuppusamy at the Malaysian Insider, etc. Senior correspondance journalists writing for Business Times Singapore are also Indians e.g. Jayasankaran.

These people will do their very best to mock the NEP and the Malay rights. They are all inclined to support the Hindraf cause.

I am of the opinion that they are all praying hard for a change in Government, where the non-Malays will be in the strong position to shape the Government policies.

We need Malay journalists like you to go back to the mainstream!

Rocky's Bru said...

Waa, lu puji gua. Tapi caya. Mana ada orang buleh bawak envoys datang press club dan habiskan Drakula sampai bertong-tong beb? Tu kualiti zaman lampau!

Selamat Hari Raya, semoga korban lu diberkati.

Anonymous said...


Slamat ghayo haji. Buek maso ni den tak ndak lah cakap pasal standard journalism kek Malaya ni. Tapi den lobeh gimeh sobab semalam kek Amerika, The Tribune Publishing Co, tuanpunyo sok kaba Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times samo Baltimore Sun, dah bengkrap. Kalau dio pun buleh bengkrap, bahayo ni...


ex-NST said...


mungkin wartawan hari ini terlalu mengikut telunjuk editor dan tuan punya syarikat.

mungkin juga mereka tidak ada pilihan kecuali mematuhi garis2 politik yang ada....

memang kita ada kebebasan akhbar langsung...kan?

Anonymous said...

i do agree with u bujai. the mainsteam media, especially the newspapers are BALL-players... they are good at it.

journalism of 1980 and early 90s were best in the sense that they were more daring and more sharp in their reportings.

the editors then, amid having to oblige to rules of politics, gave big space to other stories.

newspapers nowadays are managed by fools and idiots!

Anonymous said...

yang tulis berita hari ni bukannya wartawan terlatih pun. tanya datuk manja berita harian

Anonymous said...

one of the best reporters of that era was jahabar sadiq. i wonder if he still writes? any idea where he is? would love to read his thoughts once again.