Usman Bawang: Media Boycott
by Usman Bawang
The traditional BN-owned mainstream media has been going too far in its crusades against the people.
So we thought that post Mahathir the walls would fall down and leashes released.
No, the media has turned to populism and sensationalism as a tool of the Government to divide the people.
The Squatgate issue was used to pit the Chinese against everyone else.
The recent arrests at Black Metal used to create a “moral crisis”
While on the other hand failing to fully disclose and explain the Deputy Minister / Datuk connection in the recent Subang Jaya hotel raid.
The failing to report developments about the waste incinerator in Broga, the “detention” of Balakrishnan.
The one sided reporting and trivilising of Parliament debates and Pengkalan Pasir by election.
We are all aware that some mainstream outlets are more guilty than others. Some are merely just toe-ing the line for we know of the KDN threats.
Other, on the other hand are being systematically used to not only oppress and silence the public, they are being used to divide the people, having a nasty agenda to stear public conversation into mindlessly supporting action/policies that only serve the interests of the Few.
All mainstream outlets care about readership (and distribution) figures (as much as some care about pushing their Agenda).
So the populace, especially us the priveleged, who have access to alternative media outlets can exercise our right to teach these offending outlets a lesson.
I can’t remember the last time a boycott has been called against this mainstream media, but I believe that readers now have less to lose, and media outlets more to lose, when a boycott is called.
Of course some would not wish to part from their Sudoku and this would mean less toilet reading material. But ultimately something needs to be done to check this imbalance. The government in this case is not on the side of the People.
We have to realise the harsh reality that our votes at the polls aren’t worth as much as the RM1.20 (?) we cast every morning. The advertisers are going to scream as well.
The boycott need not be complete as I said. Out of the 3 mainstream English outlets, I think only 2 are consistently guilty of these crimes.
We can continue to shut up, or lament, or pack our bags for Australia or exercise our rights as consumers.
Max Weber once said, By power is meant that opportunity existing within a social [relationship] which permits one to carry out one’s own will even against resistance and regardless of the basis on which this opportunity rests.
Media power is being used against the people. That has been established quite some time already. Society on the other hand has yet to exercise its option of reciprocation.