Tuesday, November 9, 2010

news vs. opinion

New media has been widely used since the 20th century because of emerging technologies that slowly replace ‘traditional media’ such as newspaper and broadcast television. The new era of media saw a cyber world that ‘conquers’ each household in each country in this world. Furthermore, the usage of internet is increasing day by day.

Basically, new media holds out possibility of on-demand access to content anytime, anywhere, on any digital devices, as well as user feedback, creative participation and community formation around the media content. The most popular social networking website, Facebook has offered thousands of applications that can fulfill the needs of their users.

New media have also drive people to create their own websites in order to fulfill their needs. The purpose of creating the website depends on the person him or herself. The most popular self built web site is blogspot. This website has already been built in and it only needs the creativity of the blogger on how to decorate and what to fill in their blog.

In 2001, blogging has become a phenomenon in the United States and the increase of blogging community has made people aware of the existence of blogs that can be used to exchange opinion and become a forum in discussing issues that happened around the world. As a result, journalism schools began to conducting about blogging and debate the differences between journalism and blogging.

Meanwhile, with the freedom that people have to create their own web blog, it has raised up an issue. Sometimes people can misuse the freedom they have by sensationalizing an issue or writing anything that they want until they forget about the law.

Recently, bloggers has boasting of among the society nowadays after it has been claimed that blog basically can be harmful to people. It can turn to chaos when bloggers misuse their freedom to manipulate the society with untruthful information that may lead to social tension.

According to mStar journalist, Ariffudin Ishak, the web blog can be the best channel to inform people but it can turn to disaster when rumors and lies about an issue spread in the society. Sometimes we do not even know how credible the source are and where did they get the information on certain issues. Bloggers can do anything they want because web blog is for everyone.

“If there is no action taken by the authorities, I am sure there must be something wrong with the authorities,” Ariffudin said.

He also mentioned about the importance of law enforcement on bloggers. This is because when blogs are not regulated, the spread of fake information and rumors cannot be controlled. All information must be screened before being published for the public who are eager to learn new information.

As a new media journalist, Ariffudin also claimed that he had to be careful with his reporting because, if there is any doubtful information he will be asked by people from the ministry. Journalists have the right to write, but they are still under the supervision of editors and gatekeepers. He admitted that the satisfaction of writing is not there when he is restricted by the law.

Journalists sometimes feel bad about the restriction that has been imposed on them. The freedom to write is not there and it seems that they write merely to fill the spaces in the newspapers for instance. However, it needs to be realized that journalist are restricted to certain Acts with the intention to protect the peace and harmony among the country’s multiracial population.

Meanwhile, Dr. G. Manimaran from The Malaysian Insider claimed that we have a right to tell the truth. The society needs to know the truth but we have to tell them in a proper way. Every single word that we write plays a big role because if there is any misinterpretation by the readers might give a wrong impression towards the issue.

“Our citizen could not accept the truth about something that they read. For example, when their favorite leader has been detained under certain Act because of corruption, they cannot accept them at all. This is because Malaysian is not very critical when they get the information. They could not analyze and see behind the story about the leaders,” he said.

Based on Manimaran’s words, it can be conclude that Malaysians should be more open to accept any information given. They cannot simply be emotional when the truth had been revealed by other people. The best way for the society might be to look forward for more dedicated leaders in the future.

A word of caution, though: not all information that we gain from blogs should be taken as serious because sometimes bloggers purposely use their writing ability to create panic and spread rumors that can affect the nation’s stability. Meanwhile, the society must have an ability to differentiate between the negative and positive impact if they really want to express their selves through in blogging.

We should not get too excited with blogging; that we put aside ethics while creating words in order to inform the society. One case that relate with blogging invlves the most daring blogger, Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) who had spread rumors about the Altantuya murder.

Many cases are still on trial because of blogging and the misuse of the freedom bloggers they have by spreading words that are not true. When the freedom has been violated by some people, its shows the bad sign because people are freely express their words without knowing the truth.

To curb this matter, a code of conduct for bloggers should be implemented in this country in order minimizes the untrue story being published for the society. There are a lot of blogs that discuss about politics that might slightly endanger the countries because of the contents are full of anger and vain that should be filtered beforehand.

The impact could be worse because, if bloggers tend to create sensationalism rather than educating people, I believe majority of the people in Malaysia can accept all views but how they interpret it depends on their knowledge. Bloggers have to be careful because some people get emotional if their political inclinations are condemned by others.

The most worrying part is that blogs that are being used for blaming others and spreading the untruth are increasing. Nowadays the society needs extra reading to gain knowledge and they only refer to the mainstream newspaper, but they also make use of blogs to get more information. Just imagine when people read all these things and maybe one day they become addicted towards this kind of information. Who do we have to blame?