Political owners cause bad journalism

By uppercaise

Aziz Ishak’s reported remark that Utusan Malaysia felt duty-bound to support Umno and the Barisan Nasional falls in the great tradition of who pays the piper calls the tune.

Great tradition — lousy journalism.

Anyone who expected Aziz Ishak to say otherwise would be very naive. As naive as those who criticise him for his lack of journalistic ethics or journalistic principles. What Utusan does has nothing to do with ethics. It’s about survival — the editor’s survival, as well as his owner’s survival.   

Who owns the media?

• Umno owns Utusan Melayu, the publisher of Utusan Malaysia and other papers.
• Umno’s proxies own Media Prima and New Straits Times Press, publishers of the New Straits Times, Berita Harian and other papers, and owners of TV3 and all other commercial TV stations.
• The MCA owns The Star and its other media properties.
• MIC politicians or their families own Tamil Nesan, Malaysia Namban and Makkal Ossai.
• Barisan-friendly business tycoon Vincent Tan and son own The Sun
• Barisan-friendly timber tycoon Ting Hieng Kiew owns Sin Chew, Nanyang Siang Pau, China Press and Guang Ming.
• Barisan-friendly business tycoon Ananda Krishnan owns Astro, the satellite TV channel, and a monopoly on satellite television broadcasting
• Pas owns and publishes Harakah, DAP publishes the Rocket, and PKR Suara Keadilan. They are party organs.

Who controls the media?

• Businessmen, frightened of offending Umno, have control of the media’s future by choosing not to advertise in campaigning newspapers or non-BN media
• Umno politicians control the information ministry, which runs the state-owned Radio-Television Malaysia networks, the state-owned Filem Negara and the Film Censorship Board