Sunday, February 04, 2007

Old & New Media

And Never The Twain Shall Meet?

Q: Tun, you have been telling people to read blogs. Lately the government has been responding to news that appeared in blogs, news which did not appear in mainstream news. What is your take on that?
Dr M: Oh, I am afraid you don't have the freedom to talk about it.
Those who attended the Press conference at Legend Hotel yesterday (Sunday, Feb 4) were treated to the usual Dr Mahathir Mohamad's sharp wit as he deflected questions about the Nobel Peace Prize nomination he received and the "war" against the blogs.
And many of those questions - as well as on the Perdana Global Peace Organisation's (PGPO) "Expose War Crimes:Criminalise War" Conference and Exhibition", came from bloggers.
Reporters from AFP, Straits Times (Singapore), Berita Harian, Bernama, the Sun and Utusan Malaysia, to name a few, were there. So were several bloggers, including Jeff Ooi (Screenshots), Ahirudin Attan (Rocky's Bru), Ruhanie Ahmad (Kuda Kepang), Syed Imran (Kuda Ranggi), Bernard Khoo (Zorro-Unmasked), Stephen Francis (Shanghaifish), Malaysia Today, KMU and Gen M.
With Dr Mahathir were some of the speakers who will be addressing the delegates at the conference. Also there were Dr Mahathir's wife, Dr Siti Hasmah and their son, Mukhriz.
And guess who had to be the one to throw Dr Mahathir the first question?
Why, it was Ahirudin aka Rocky. Once a journalist, always a journalist, they say.
Or is it -- "old" journalists don't die -- they become bloggers!
Here's the best part. The party over, reporters had long gone and bloggers still chatting.
A hotel staff (in that smart dark coat-trousers uniform) made an announcement:
"Members of the Press, we have prepared some refreshments for you. Please step this way". Momentary silence. Bloggers a trifle stunned.
Did he just say "members of the Press"?
"Do we look like members of the Press?" somebody suddenly whispered to me.
Does it matter? Let's not confuse him. To his credit, he had made no distinction between those in the mainstream media and bloggers.
Well, what can we say but thank you to Legend Hotel for the coffee, tea, sandwiches and curry puffs.
Anyway, in case you are interested, the three-day conference and exhibition begins tomorrow (Monday Feb 5) at 9am at the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur.


11 years old said...

Sound like fun to be bloggers. When I grow up I want to be a blogger!

Last time I wanted to be a reporter like my uncle. But he tells me, good, be a blogger.

Anonymous said...

Hebat sungguh para blogger kita! Sebenarnya saya terpegun melihat cara mereka. Macam orang media, sungguh.

Padahal, bukan semua yang pernah jadi wartawan seperti Syed Imran, Datuk Ruhanie, Nuraina, Rocky (maaf kalau ada yang lain yang saya tidak cam).

Malah, majoriti para pemblog yang ada tadi, saya rasa, tak pernah pun jejak kaki di bilik berita!

Raja Petra Kamaruddin begitu pro sekali dengan video kemeranya.

Jeff Ooi, blogger yang semakin terkenal akibat disaman dengan Rocky oleh NSTP, nampak macam wartawan veteran.

Dan ramai yang lain (dan ramai yang tak saya kenali, mintak maaf) seperti Zorro dan Mage, tak pernah jadi wartawan tapi ada bersama di sidang akhbar untuk menjalankan "tanggungjawab" mereka sebagai blogger, iaitu untuk memberitahu pengunjung2 blog mereka tentang initiatif bekas perdana menteri.

kalau ini menjadi suatu trend, para pemblog dan para wartawan nampaknya akan bersaing.

dan kalau ini berlaku, rakyat yang akan beruntung.

-- anon --

Anonymous said...

Dear Aina

I always thought old journos getting "written off" or they convert their skills to become PR consultants and (hopefully) benefit the client's business. I should know: I'm one. :)

Chinaman (still) with straight hair.

shar101 said...

Well, Nuraina, I hadda drop in.

Bloggers = Fourth Estate..later to become 'more' mainstream. Yikes! And I thought you just left the 'Grande Dame'.

Scary thought, isn't it.

Distinti saluti.

P.S. "And never the twain shall meet"..hmmm..sounds familiar.

lubok melayu said...

"Journalists don't die, they become bloggers".

Ah, original! Mungkin suatu hari semua wartawan kita akan mengendali blog. Di Barat, blog dan media tradisional bersaing dan kadangkala berkerjasama, membantu satu sama lain. Di akhbar-akhbar utama, bloggers menjadi "stringers" dan "contributors". Wartawan2 terkemuka pun mengendalikan blog, contohnya Greg Sheridan di Australia. Di sini ada juga - P Gunasegaran dari di Edge. Cuma masalahnya Guna ada membuat cubaan tak berapa lama dahulu untuk menheret Jeff Ooi yang mengendalikan Screenshots kerana tidak bersetuju dengan komen yang ditinggalkan seorang poster di blog Screenshots. Pendekata, akhbar kita rata2 merasa terancam -- bukan dari segi kewangan tapi dari aspek kredibiliti dan populariti - berbanding pengendali blog.

Tunku Halim said...

"Old bloggers never die, they just get sent to Kamunting." But seriously, the Press and Bloggers do the same thing - they write!

nstman said...

You know what, the bloggers have gained credibility while the mainstream press are losing theirs.

msiaman said...

Hey, bloggers rule!

Anyway, blogging provides people with avenue of chipping in more facts (some of which that you don't get to read in the mainstream media).

Anyway, it is still about delivering information and opinion only right?


Nice to have finally sat down with you, Rocky, Zorro, ShanghaiSteven, Jeff, Shar101 and those that I have left out (thousand apologies).

Keep up the good work!

from msiaman and ms.

msiaman said...

The other compelling factor about blogs lies in the empowerment!

Readers gets to post a reply or comment on the topic of discussion or engage in exchanges with other commenters, realtime!

The wonders of technology....

ConcernedCitizen said...

How effective is this PGPO? Is it going to be another 'talk-shop' forum by Dr. M?

Will other institutions like the UN take heed to the declarations made during the PGPO conference?

Basically, what I am trying to ask is that, "How effective is this PGPO"

Penarik Beca said...

Puan yang dihormati

I cant remember, but 10 or 20 years ago, my first impression about you was: “Uuiii! Lawanya! Anak sapa ni?

“Ohh… Anak Pak Samad. Jangan nak mereka (mereka-reka) la!

"Uuiii! Mengaji tinggi! Hang sekolah menengah pun tak habis bakaq oii! Go and play kite laa!”

(To the beholder: “I’m sorry, Sir! Please sleep well, Sir. I’m already harmless now!”)

But, the last thing in my mind is to see your name in any group like Bloggers United, let alone one of The Magnificent Seven.

Congratulation, Sis!

Betui dak gua punya orang putih? Hantam saja la labu! Janji boleh berlagak seolah-olah macam reti cakap orang putih!

Anonymous said...

At the end of Hans Von Sponeck's presentation (Economic Sanctions- A Weapon of Mass Destruction) he warned of the "tsunami of disinformation" that is flooding the world. He urged that we should be careful when we swim through the floods.

Apart from being a vivid and forceful idiom, I think its meaning and implications are most apt. Writers and their readers (mainstream and blogosphere) need to be more discerning when they
sift through news and other information.

Propoganda is so forceful. A warped point of view can quickly become a belief and then an ideology and a national policy if the mechanisms are there to push it through.

Verbal warfare is behind military war and the "tsunami of destruction". It is lethal and potent indeed!



anon balai berita said...

Kakak Jalan Sudin,

You are missed at the Criminalising War forum & exhibition at PWTC. Come and liven things up, blogger. And, of course, share the press proceedings with us journos.

The thing is there are so many seasoned journalists who now blog that when they go to press events like this on-going one at PWTC, we journos feel out of place. I was not there last Sunday (the press conference at Legend) but a junior who went there to cover it came back so intimidated, yet inspired. At our organisation, which shall not be named, we are not allowed to blog (with our own names, that is).

Yesterday I saw Datuk A. Kadir Jasin and Datuk A. Ahmad Taleb among the bloggers at the media room! Goodness! This was like covering those Umno general assemblies from when Dr Mahathir was the President of the party! I was told Rocky was around but missed him. And we met some of the top bloggers, namely Jeff Ooi, Sheikh Kickderfella and, if they weren't pulling our legs, some guys from KMU and Gen-M. Oh yes, we also worked side by side with Malaysiakini.

They are a bunch of good-natured guys. Fun even. Confident yet not cocky.

Don't think the Government should fear bloggers or compare them unfavourably with us journos. I am a blogger, too, you see. LOL.

Anonymous said...

You know what? Whatever TDM was during his premiership or how many enemies he may have then or now, one thing's for sure, the press still loves him and he hasn't lost any of that sharpness about him. I always enjoyed reading his interviews unlike the ones given by the current head honcho.

A Voice said...

If Rahim Kajai has access to the Internet now, he'll be blogging from heaven.

Hidup Bloggers!

Perhasp Al Fatihah for the man, fellow bloggers?

monsterball said...

When TDM was PM for 22 years..have you seen him so nice to bloggers?
Why now? Well...he is looking for all avenues to talk. He started with MT site. Strange is it not that he made an open letter to the public....yet chosed RPK MT site only. Why can't to be more constant and copy his letter to all sites.....since he can write an open letter to the public?
This is a classic example that old man...can swing and change his moods quite easily. I am sure he will be nice to Rocky and everybody else...fighting for freedom of speech he so call no more under new PM...but I recalled under was dictatorial rule...period!!

Rafidi said...

Alamak Monsterball,

Masa 22 year rule of Dr M mana ada blogger! I think only 10% of blogger were blogging since last time. Only recently that bloggers become known to the public.

Why was Dr M dictatorial? Most of the UMNO MPs are half past six!! Only own agenda to become rich in mind. Semua kena bagi tau utk buat apa.
See how they talk on TV or in parliament. Full of crap.

Anonymous said...

Dear Monsterball,
I assume you are from the generation that have seen and shouted Merdeka with Tengku. I am one generation below Merdeka; to be exact I am TDM generation. I can understand why you might have wanted things done differently and better. If I get to have AAB for another 22 years and Malaysia still remains beautiful and safe, I shall not criticise AAB when he retires because it is not easy to be a PM or even a dictator for 22 year without a good deal of decency. We cannot change 22 years of Malaysia history or even vindicate ourselves by saying that we suffered for 22 years but did nothing about it. Is it time to seek vengence? Like Jeff said '22+3 years too late'. Let TDM speaks. Stop the criticism...everything done has good and bad consequences. I am happy that TDM left Malaysia relatively beautiful and safe for most of us. It up to AAB now to change Malaysia for the better or worse.