Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Book... We're All Journalists Now....

That day when I went to Kinokuniya while trying to kill time and browsing the rows and rows of books, I was not sure of what book to buy. I just had to buy a book since I have just finished reading a book and had non to read after that. So I thought that I might as well browse along and have a look of what new books are around or just look at the noticeboard which shows the bestseller of the week. While doing just that I notice this book which is so relevant to what I am doing now, Blogging as well trying to get more Malaysian to understand what blogging is all about. As a Blogger I have written many articles on Why Malaysian must Blog, Appeared on TV, Featured on a mainstream newspaper The Star and interviewed by a few students. All these efforts are to pass the messages that Blogging is good for Democracy as well it is good for the bloggers.

What a coincidence that I found this book ' We're All Journalists Now' by Scott Gant' and reading through it found that my thoughts on this subject are in tune with what this author wrote. I have just gone through the book on my first reading and have to do a second reading before I could digest all the thoughts and ideas that have been put so brilliantly by this author. For now let me summarise that it is a godsend book for our time especially so for Malaysian where blogging is beginning to made its impact on the socio political scene. Although the contents of this book are of the American socio political/cultural scene, I found that there are so much in common with our ideal. The need to have a free flows of information and ideas especially from the ordinary folks. In the past it is not possible to do that but blogging has made the flows of information and ideas now possible. To quote the author "a Marketplace of Ideas, which provides the best chance for uncovering truth". And the New Media [Blogger] would be playing that part well. The new Media, Blogging or Citizen Journalism is a term use by the author Scott Gant in this book.

Another aspect that I found to be in agreement with the author is that Journalism should be part and parcel of a good governance. The author address this issue at length and I find this part is very important...In the past government has always been referred as the sharing of power between the Executive,the Legislative and the Judiciary only. The author pointed that the role of Journalism especially Citizen Journalism could made government more accountable and transparent. So a good government in a democracy should be the sharing of power that includes Journalism/Press, first dubbed as the Fourth Branch by another author Douglass Cater in 1959. Thus the four branches should now be The Executive, The Legislative, the Judiciary, and the Journalism/Press. With the element of Journalism in it, it would made information and ideas flows both ways which surely would create good governance for any country and in turn would be good for its citizen too. To me this is a tall order indeed but if it is good for the country, why not!. After all what the people want is good governance and with that provide for a better quality of life for its citizen.

That the old media would still there and continue to play its parts in the dissemination of information and ideas. And as usual with things it would evolved in its own ways. Citizen Journalism would play its role and evolve as it goes. Changing the ways we get news. Quote from the book " The days of the mainstream media as the "voice of God" are over, declared Dean Wright, a vice president at Reuters". The author also highlight one very important aspect of journalism, much debated in the US and already implemented in some States. That is what he call as the 'Shield Law'. He also pointed out that Journalism should be an endeavor and not just a job title. And that Journalism should be look at as an activity rather then a profession. As for the future of Journalism, the author wrote "Journalism is essential" and that it is a vital part of sharing information needed for the functioning of the socio political systems.

In most countries including Malaysia before Blogging news has always been a one sided affairs. What the Publishers want us to know and that's is. And because in Malaysia you need a licence to start a Newspaper, only a few got it. Thus the limited numbers of Newspapers in the country. The author stated that in the US no licence is needed to start a newspaper. So in Malaysia with Blogging, the citizen journalists has open up the Pandora box on the flows of news. Now the information and ideas comes from the people as well. The status quo has changed. The flood gates of news has been open by bloggers and there are no ways of stopping, except with the truth. It is a fair game now, the playing field is getting even day by day. Those who refused to accept these facts would surely be swept by the new waves.

Friends, this is a good book for us Bloggers. It is about us and our involvement as the pioneer of this new media. The understanding of the power of Blogging [citizen journalism] in our [Malaysia] young democracy. I believe we the Malaysian Bloggers could made the differences in the coming years in making democracy works as democracy should. Have a nice day..


Unknown said...

Hi Pak Idrus,

I agree with you. Actually everybody has our own thoughts and impressions of things. If we shared our views with civility and respect, we can be as different in our opinions as day and night and yet we can exchange with peace and harmony.

I think however we want to express ourselves always keep it respectful and not in a way where we incited disharmony perhaps.

On the other end, when we have expressed our views respectfully, I would expect the recipients to look at the thoughts with an open mind.

This way, we would surely head for solutions to any prob;ems.

BUT alas, things are not as rosy as that kan Pak Idrus!! People tend to be reactive and sometimes for get to be civil! Sigh.

Pak Zawi said...

Pak Idrus,
I will look up the book when I am in KL. Based on your recconmendation it must be a good read.

Pak Idrus said...

ruby, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts on this subject. Agreed fully with you on this but then that is the nature of our species.

Malaysian especially the politician must wake up to the reality, that we live in the twenty first century now and that citizen are been exposed to more new information and ideas then ever before. Respecting each other views is very important in a democracy.

I know things are not that rosy now but that is the way it is. We all must hope for the best and play our role in keeping the peace and harmony of our country.

Have a nice day and take care.

Pak Idrus said...

zawi, thanks for the visit. See you in KL. Have a nice day.

Unknown said...

Pak Idrus,

So true pak. We have so many things to talk about. But the medium is not there. Blogging is just a way to do so(",).


Pak Idrus said...

akmal, thanks fro the visit and sharing your thoughts on this very important subject.

Now that you are one of the citizen journalist, give as much of your views by blogging. But remember that you must be responsible for the information and ideas that you blog.

Have a nice day and take care.

xonar said...

pak idrus,

thank you for sharing the information and preview of this book.hope they have it in MPH,penang.
i wouldn't had known about this if i've not visited your says a lot isn't it... how fast information travel these days.
again,thank you and nice day to you,too.

"i love internet age"

Pak Idrus said...

penang-kia, thanks for the visit and the kind words on this posting.

Hope that you could get that book in Penang. If not I think you could order it on line from Kino.

Thanks for the greeting and Have a nice day and take care.

Hanafi Mohd Noor said...

Hi Pak Idrus, gonna get that book as soon as possible. I think I personally should read something on journalis. I remember you adviced me once to read a lot of books. That was a word of wisdom I will cherish forever.

Pak Idrus said...

hanafi, thanks for the visit and the kind works. I am never without a book. A book is knowledge, the more you read the more knowledge you gain. You do not have to reinvent the wheel, just innovate to made it better. Have a nice day and take care.

zorro said...

Pak, thanks for the heads-up. Heading for Kino today.Missed you on Tuesday.

Pak Idrus said...

zorro,bro. thanks for the visit and the comment. It is a great book. If it is sold out you can placed an order. Have a nice day.

Awang said...

Pak Idrus,
I like yr style of blog.I'm one of yr many visitors.Oh yes,re yr citizen journalists I did read one subject in local magazine about Journalistic Integrity by journalist Chris Cobb.He commented"It does'nt make sense at all to have a restricted media",and journalism should never be suppressed,as it is an effective tool for informing as well as educating and creating awareness in society."There is no need for polotician to be fearful of journalist and added that democracy benefit from a good working relationship between the two segments of society.

So have a nice day Pak idrus...

Pak Idrus said...

uncleawang, thanks for your visits and those kind words on my blogging. Appreciate that you like the kind of my blogging. It is my way and I love sharing my thoughts with the world which includes my friend You.

Many thanks for sharing your thoughts on journalisms and its role in the society, as well as the thoughts of the author Chris Cobb.. Malaysian politician have got lots to learn. Agreed that journalism do benefit the country. Without journalism the country would go to the dogs.

BTW my family name is Awang. I did not know that I had another name until I went to school in 1946.

Hope to see you again in cyberspace and until then Have a nice day and take care.

gram.kong said...

Pak Idrus,
Man of letters will never bore himself or others.Those who don't read are like the wasteland, lack of nutrients.

The search for knowledge is like the receding horizon, the further you move the further it gets.

Before the dawn of the internet , books were our only source of knowledge and most of the time we do not have the information at our fingertip, like now, the click of the mouse will take us there.

I would like to share with you my personal experience many years ago.I was on a flight from Kota Kinabalu to KL and on the same flight was an MP, whom I know casualy.He sat across the aisle from me.I always armed myself with books and magazines whenever I travel.After being airborne for about 20 minutes our MP opened his briefcase and to my bewilderment, took out a magazine and guess what he reads ...URTV.

Please, don't get me wrong,there is nothing wrong reading those magazines but being a politician and an elected representative you would expect him to be more interested in world events,politics , economics, the kind of magazines like Far Eastern Economic Review, Times,Newsweek etc.

Do you think some of our MPs are the victims of reading too much URTV magazines ? Is that why some of them make blundering speeches and remarks?

Pak Idrus said...

hantu laut, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts with me. What you relate is completely true.

I have works with MPs and Minister before and most do not read as you had mention. I know for sure DSAI and TsriSanusi read but rest are like you said. Most of them now could read or write in English, I belief that is the reason they just real URTV mag. Because of BM the Malay are loosing so much, there are hardly any books or reading material in that language. To me if the Malay want to move forward they have to master the English language or Mandarin. So what else is for them to read except URTV and those entertainment magazines and some light love novel. Like you I believe it is because they lack 'nutritions' that they behave like they do now.

Just visit Kino, compare to the books and reading material in English, Mandarin and Japanese there are but a few books in BM. So 'nak baca apa' when you do not master the English language first.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with me and those good people who visit my blog. Have a nice day and take care.

Hi&Lo said...

Pak Idrus,

We must claim ownership of our country, i.e. taking an active part in influencing the decision process.

Pak Idrus said...

hi%lo, Thanks for the visit and the suggestion. Blogger is here to stay, so let do our part in influencing the decision process as you suggested.

The election is coming sooner rather then later, so do Pangkah [vote]the party you think could change the course of our country. One vote do made the difference. Have a nice day and take care.