Sunday, September 22, 2013

Defamation suits used to keep media in check, says CIJ chief

BERSIH TRIBUNAL Defamation suits are being used to hold the media accountable in Malaysia in absence of a balanced environment, said Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) executive director Masjaliza Hamzah.

She told the Bersih People's Tribunal today that this is in contrast with other countries where it is used to silence the media, but recommended against adopting this as a long-term solution to one-sided reports.

NONE"I think it is a sad condition on the country when we have to go the legal route every time in order to ensure that fair reporting is practiced.

"We would go towards becoming a litigious nation," she said, when panellist Azzat Kamaludin asked if she viewed defamation suits as a positive thing in Malaysia.

She said the suits can recommended as a stop-gap measure until media reforms are done in Malaysia.
Yesterday, Masjaliza along with academicians Zaharom Nain and Tessa Houghton had presented their media monitoring study for the 13th general election, and were present this morning to field questions from the panel.

The study had found a heavy media bias that is in BN’s favour.

Zaharom added that universities had been churning out graduates, including those in journalism, who are trained in the vocational aspects of journalism but not the ethical aspects.

“We believe that this is perhaps a reflection of the overall education system that we have here…

“This idea of education (here) is that it is something that would lead to a job, rather than education liberating the mind,” he said.

~ Malaysiakini

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