Govt should talk to opposition media, opposition must not talk to govt media

(Malaysian Digest) – Two members of parliament of opposing sides today agreed that online media should be given the same privilege as the mainstream or printed media.

PKR’s Machang MP, Saifuddin Nasution and Umno’s Kota Belud MP, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan told reporters today that online media are also important as they too have their own roles.

Today, most online media journalists were denied entry into the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) to do a coverage on the meeting by Mindef top officials with Barisan Nasional backbenchers and Pakatan Rakyat members of parliament.

Commenting on the matter, Saifuddin described the action as a bad signal and an inappropriate, and question why there should be a double standard between the mainstream media and online media.

“I suggest that the Defence Ministry, especially the minister whom I personally know, to open this opportunity equally towards all media that operates in our country,” said Saifuddin who is also PKR’s secretary-general.

He said, on behalf of Pakatan he does not agree at all the restriction implied towards online media journalists today.

“Online media also have a wide audience… they also have roles in an issue as important as this,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rahman said the online news portals should be allowed to do coverage inside the Mindef.

“I don’t know why the online media were not allowed to go in…

“I am terribly sorry… I have no reason to believe that you guys (the online media reporters) shouldn’t be there (inside),” he said.

However, he said he cannot answer on behalf of the defence ministry but believes that online media is a very important media outlet.

Earlier, reporters from the news portals were not allowed to enter the ministry and were told that the coverage on the meeting was only by invitation which was mostly sent to mainstream media.