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Monday, May 29, 2017

'Infantile to rush to Home Ministry every time media is 'offensive''



It is "infantile" to get the Home Ministry to intervene every time the press publishes something perceived to be offensive, said a media expert. 
"It is stupid and reflects the infantile nature of our psyche if we need to rush to the Home Ministry, or any other official 'nanny', every time we feel 'offended' by something in the media," communications and media studies professor Zaharom Nain said to Malaysiakini.
He was responding to an incident today in which editors of English daily The Star were called in by the Home Ministry to explain the front page of its May 27 edition, which has been deemed insensitive to the feelings of Muslims in the country.
The Star's front page on May 27 consisted of a photograph of Muslims performing terawih prayers on the first night of Ramadan under the bold headline, 'Malaysian Terrorist Leader'.
Zaharom, who lectures at Nottingham University Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, said those who were offended by the front page could simply have contacted The Star, chastised them, asked for an apology, and moved on.
"After all, it is the month of Ramadan, a time for patience and forgiveness surely for all Muslims?" he asked. 
He also said people need to grow up and not be offended by unintended mistakes made by others.
"Especially when we ourselves arrogantly and deliberately offend others, assuming that we are privileged and entitled," he said.
Southeast Asian Press Alliance (Seapa) former executive director V Gayathry, meanwhile, said that this was an example of an issue blown out of proportion.
If The Star has chosen to apologise to its readers, she said, the issue should be settled and no further action should be pursued.

The English daily has released an apology, explaining that it is normal practice for the newspaper to print a picture of the first terawih prayers for the year, on the first day of Ramadan.
It said it was coincidental that the first day of Ramadan on Saturday was also the same day it ran the article on terrorism.
The May 27 front page received brickbats from both sides of the partisan, with politicians from Umno, PKR, PAS and Parti Amanah Negara saying it contributed to negative perceptions about Islam.- Mkini

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