Tuesday, April 14, 2009

MediaWARE

Saw the news on Channel 5 just now. Yes, I watch local television.

160 AWARE members call for meeting to question new ExCo

You know what? I feel a bit sad all these things are happening to the organisation.

I think the media (Straits Times, and Channel News Asia, Channel 5) has portrayed AWARE a little bit negative. Yes, we may criticise the alleged takeover by alleged conservative folk, but spare a thought for the organisation.

Of course, I can talk about how our local blogosphere has, to some extent, trivialised the situation with sexist and discriminating "cat fight" labels. I can also talk about the blogosphere's (and Dudley Au's) reproduction of the PAP government rhetoric of "complacency", using the AWARE episode to validate and sustain this post-Mas Selamat discourse. Come on, do we blame our low birth rates on complacency too? Any way, instead of addressing these other issues, I shall talk about the mainstream media this round.

In the television news, it showed the reporter opening the sliding door to enter a room at the AWARE headquarters, to interview the vice-president.

Charlotte Wong, the vice-president, was presented to be irritated by the reporter. She also looked tired (I won't say disheveled, but I could), and repeatedly said, "no comment". I think the television reporter was bordering on assholic by what I see as pestering the vice-president. I really wonder, why should they even air this segment? Are they trying to show what our reporters are capable of, i.e. piss off or irritate the socks off their interviewees?

While the interview with AWARE member Corinna Lim was alright and maintained the dignity of the organisation, the intended "interview" with Charlotte Wong reveals the darker side of our media. I was thinking, "The reporting team think they are big F's with that camera and mic, and can't seem to take no for an answer."

Of course, having the history of stomping (haha, I made a pun!) on the dignity of sex offenders and the political opposition, I am puzzled as to why this desperate attempt to cover the story and ending up doing a poor job.

Maybe the secretive high society drug parties at Seletar Airbase have clouded some decision-making capabilities? Maybe not. (don't think too much about that one, and it's too good to be true, right?)

Our mainstream media has to conduct itself more professionally. You have to respect your subjects/interviewees. Even if you want to be conservative or sympathetic to the government, you should at least portray, for example, minorities or political opposition without damaging/threatening their reputation or dignity.

Wong Kim Hoh provided the facts in his Straits Times article. Fair enough, although some will believe that the facts are pieced together to create an angle to the issue. Mediacorp news on the other hand, well, could have done better, especially their television news crew (editors included). Getting your subjects angry is not part of the story, man!

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