When Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst took out their circulation battles from 1895 to 1898 using unethical and unprofessional practices, a new form of journalism was born. The New York Press called it yellow journalism. No definition was given as to why it was called yellow.It's probably had to do with the colour of the paper they used at that time.
Yellow journalism or popularly known as gutter press, sometimes called junk food news, are journalism that resorted to sensationalism.Using scandal, gossip and lie to boost circulation.
Professional Journalism has its own 'code of ethics'. They are the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability. Even more important is the 'limitation of harm', which are the actions of withholding of certain details from the story such as names of minor, crime victims' names and fabricated information that might harm some one's reputation.
However, freedom of speech is not absolute, for instant, you can't falsely " shouting fire in a crowded theatre" and claimed freedom of speech.Other limiting doctrines are those of libel, obscenity and if it is likely to incite imminent lawless action.
The Internet, other than its many good applications, had also opened up a whole wide world of detriments. It is a haven for crooks, sex offenders, street peddlers, con artists, smut artists, wannabes media mogul and think of anything bad, you would probably find it on the Net.
In the past to be a publisher you probably need million of dollars to start a publishing business.With the advent of the internet anyone equipped with a PC and with access to the internet could be a publisher and can have global coverage.
I remember in the early eighties when my company in Kuala Lumpur decided to computerise our office it costed us an incredible amount of RM 350,000. to purchase Wang Computers, which were called mini computer then and they were no where near as powerful as some of the PC you have at home nowadays. They needed a sizable room to store and needed round the clock air-conditioning. It frequently went haywire for no apparent reason. Believe it or not, the technicians eventually found the source of the problem, nylon stockings. Those were the days when nylon stockings were very popular with the ladies. We have no choice but to ban our office girls operating the computer from using nylon stockings. The actual source of the problem was not the stocking itself but the static electricity in it.
Sorry, that was a bit of a detour, now, let's get back to the subject. Blogging! Don't you think it's the most wonderful invention ? The world is at your fingertip. You can reach out and influence people, how you wish to do it, is up to you. You can be anonymous or you can identify yourself.You can write nice things about people or nasty things.'The pen mightier than the sword' wasn't that true with the pen. Blogging is better and mightier, it can be more constructive or more destructive, up to you.
Malaysia has one very popular blog that claimed to have few millions hit a day. It is extremely popular with the anti-establishment crowd. Some of the stories may hold water but most are just attempt to boost popularity. Let see how this particular blog gained popularity and the preferred language popularly used by the fans.
The following are comments from loyal fans:
harimau kayu wrote:
"Jeanne is dangerous. She is dangerous to those who want to be the hidden hands to those who walk in the corridors of power. Jeanne will have to be neutralised. And if she can’t be neutralised then she has to be compromised. Jeanne must be very wary of strangers bearing gifts. Never accept any apples because apples have a tendency of hiding the poison in it. And there will be many with arms outstretched holding the poisoned chalice in the hope that Jeanne will take that proverbial drink that will send her into oblivion. Even as you read this hands are at play in digging up Jeanne’s past, with photographs and all, to prove to the world that she is not what she appears to be".
The one below is about the murder of Razak Baginda's Mongolian sweetheart. What? A judicial commissioner is not a judge ? Maybe the Chief Justice should clarify.
" So it was decided. This man who is not even a judge but only a judicial commissioner would be given Abdul Razak Baginda’s case to hear. And he would be told how the case is to be decided. And it could be decided either way. Najib can be implicated in the case or he can be spared. The outcome will not be the court’s decision. It will not even be Khairy’s decision. It will be Najib’s decision. His future will be in his own hands. He decides his own fate. And how he plays ball will be that deciding factor.
And, with that in place, Khairy had successfully laid the groundwork for Najib’s downfall. One of Najib’s supporters who had smelled a rat went to meet him to inform him about this very troubling turn of events. Najib was also told that Razak’s lawyers had negotiated a ‘settlement’ with the Attorney-General. They will amend the charges against Razak if he turns crown witness. He will be spared the gallows but he will have to sing like a canary".
The contradictions in the two paragraphs is unbelieveable. It's more hyperbolic than a true reflection of the actual situation and a litany if you have to read the whole composition.
To be accepted in Malaysia Today you must concur with the author, any opposing views will be dealt with severely. You must be euphonious like those bunch of proletarian with smutty language or be banished and banned.
Who is more democratic and sanctimonious? Raja Petra or our government ? I let you make your own judgement.
Hypocrisy is a homage that vice pays to virtue.