Media is an important third estate in a country. We expect the media to facilitate and take the lead to initiate constructive discussions and debate on important issues faced by the society.
Journalism is supposed to provide us with a factual, balanced and well-informed reporting. Unfortunately, some journalists have decided to work against their journalism ethics. Opinion pieces are generated without any proper research and supportive information.
Hence, readers are often mislead by these personal views. Readers expect to obtain fair, well researched and independent news and reporting from newspapers. Many of them are going to be disappointed if we take a look at newspapers headlines in the country.
In the midst of a global economic crisis, there is hardly any stimulating and fruitful discussion on the economy, economic model, public policies and other related issues. There are only government's announcements on the economy.
Now, we are back to the old ways again. What we read in the newspapers are assurances that Malaysia is still doing well and we are going to be able to ride through the economic storm. Is this true? Is this the true reflection of the economy?
Most editors and editorials have trumpeted the government's decision to liberalize 27 sub-sectors in the services sector. They opined that this decision will generate inflow of investment into the country. How true is this euphoria? Did they look critically at the sub-sectors before writing the op-ed?
Our headlines need to change or the mainstream media will continue to lose its readership. Malaysians are no longer living under a coconut shell.
On the same breath, alternative and online media should strive to improve their editorial and news content. It is good to be critical but it is more important to be constructively critical.
I hope to see a change in our news headlines. Maybe I am hoping for too much.