Thursday, May 31, 2012

Murdoch Press and Media Prima

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has told the Leveson Inquiry that it was unhealthy that certain parts of the media used newspapers as 'instruments of political power'.

"I'm just being open about that and open about the fact that, frankly, I decided as a political leader that I was going to manage that and not confront it..."Politicians will often interact with them closely. Disentangling what is inevitable from what is wrong is a profound challenge."

He went on: "My argument would be that the unhealthy nature of this relationship is not the product of an individual but of a culture. It is the draining of the poison of that culture that is the real challenge, a challenge deepened by the arrival of the social media and one not at all confined to the UK.

"I cannot believe we were the first and only Government which has wanted to put the best possible gloss on what you were doing," Blair, Prime Minister between 1997 and 2007, told inquiry chairman Lord Justice Leveson.

"That is a completely different thing from saying you should go out and say things that are untrue or bully and harass journalists. I read a lot of things we are supposed to have done and I dispute them."

The Labour leader between 1994 and 2007, said the 1992 general election, which Labour lost, was 'etched' on his memory, criticising the genre of journalism 'where because this line between news and comment gets blurred, it stopped being journalism, it's an instrument of political power and propaganda'.

Blair has told a press ethics inquiry he made no apologies for courting Rupert Murdoch's newspapers.

In his evidence, Blair, who is godfather to one of Rupert Murdoch's children, was asked about his close relationship with the media baron, whose tabloid The Sun, Britain's top-selling newspaper, gave him its backing.

Blair said he had made a strategic decision not to take on the power of the press during his time in office, adding that he had taken care to court the press because, if media groups had turned against him, it would have been a "huge and sustained attack".

Blogger's note: It reminds me much of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's era when the media, notably the new media namely blogs and news portals were 'responsible' in shortening his tenure as a prime minister.

Their attacks on his 'Level 4' personnel were devastating enough to be countered by the government's 'official newspapers and TV stations' such as the Media Prima group, Utusan and Bernama. And the group of bloggers and news portal owners are still claiming the credit in making such a 'contribution'.

However, under Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the presence of the media power is increasingly felt. In fact, it takes a different turn when media barons engaged as advisers to the government are not only getting special treatment but also awarded with certain projects.

A minister and three senior government officials whom I had coffee with in KL a few days ago agreed that Media Prima and its representative at the PM Office are 'deeply involved' in some decision-makings.

"How could one be given so many projects and even influences the inner circle as to whom should this and that project be awarded? They put politics above all and this is bad to their business should the government changes regime after the next general election..."

Well... I believe they realise that!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

the media has certain role to play. while most will support the ruling party, others will go for the opposition.

i dont know about the press in britain or other countries but in malaysia, they are quite powerful in the sense that the Cabinet members do listen to them.

however, i dont like the idea of them having so much power to empower the govt

duran said...

media prima and utusan play a deadly game at their fanatic of journalism.

i wonder what will happen to the boss if pakatan forms the next govt!

mati laaaa!!!!

penangan said...

salam tn,

menyokong kerajaan memang tugas media arus perdana tetapi jika mereka turut main politik dan mengenepikan urusan lain, ia tidaklah berapa sihat.

seperti yang disebut oleh tony blair, dia langsung tidak menentang atau membantah kuasa media milik rupert murdoch kerana tahu betapa besarnya pengaruh mereka di kalangan rakyat britain.

di malaysia, walaupun ada media untuk pembangkang, media arus perdana dirasakan makin hilang sokongan kerana tidak langsung memberi ruang kepada pembangkang, tidak seperti akhbar di dan tv di negara lain.

Anonymous said...

you press people always regard yourself as high and at par with the leaders.

u think u can bring down a govt and change a regime.

however, you people are just another bunch of sluts and cheapskates for being easily bought!

karipuley said...

who are the media people bro?

name the lar!

que serra said...

looks like the PM and his cabinet have to take extra precaution on such media members.

if they are overboard, kick their butts out!

Anonymous said...

jai,

memang ada dengar kisah ni daripada pejabat PM sendiri, mengenai orang tertentu media yang cuba kuasai perjalanan kerajaan.

siapa orangnya, tak taulah tapi memang ada orang media dapat projek berjuta-juta ni.

Anonymous said...

just like murdoch empire, media prima is everything to the government!

Anonymous said...

why is it that law-trained persons are typical hypocrites who spin so naturally