20 things you can do for a new free press

A guide for citizens to combat ‘manufactured news and propaganda’ in Malaysian media

In response to an often repeated comment, apparently from someone in the reform movement, that Malaysian journalists deserve no respect for producing “manufactured news and political propaganda” and should all get out of the business. Who would replace them is always left unsaid; probably, I surmise, for the likely answer being: cronies or plants of the troll.


The 20 things you can do to get the kind of media you might respect

  1. Boycott all journalists in any media. Do not speak to them, do not accept their phone calls, emails or messages. Do not offer them any information. Do not ask for publicity. Do not invite them to your functions or events. If journalists have no information, they cannot produce “manufactured news and propaganda”.
  2. Boycott all forms of mass media, including online media:
    • Don’t buy or read newspapers or magazines (even free ones)
    • Don’t watch or listen to any television channel, or radio station; avoid cinemas, throw away brochures and flyers, and don’t look at billboards
    • Don’t visit online sites that contain any kind of Malaysian journalism
    • Don’t forward any news item by email. If you receive forwarded news items, delete them immediately, unread.
    • Once the media have no readers, viewers or listeners, they will collapse, putting an end to “manufactured news and propaganda”.
  3. Get rid of your television sets and radios. If no one watches or listens, companies will not advertise and the stations will collapse. That will stop “manufactured news and propaganda” in the news bulletins of the TV and radio stations, and in the newspapers and magazines that they own
  4. Cancel your Astro subscription. Remove your satellite dish. Do not watch any Astro programme anywhere at the office or in public areas. No English football, or live badminton; no Grammies or Oscars. Tell Astro why. If Astro loses money, it will collapse, putting a stop to “manufactured news and propaganda” on Astro news channels as well.
  5. Boycott all international media. The BBC, CNN and CNBC have already used “manufactured news and political propaganda” produced for Malaysian politicians. Boycott them, and all others; you just don’t know which ones continue to use “manu­factured news and propaganda”. Write and tell them to stop.
  6. Do not buy products and services advertised or mentioned in reviews and other columns in the media (examples at random) Giant, Tesco, Courts, McDonald’s, Starbucks, KFC, Maxis, Celcom, Digi, Fab, Breeze, Lux, Coca-Cola, Yeo’s, MAS, Air Asia, Delicious, D’lish, etc. Do not buy property from SP Setia, E&O, Dijaya, and all such companies. Don’t buy products from Toyota, Hyundai, Samsung, Sony, BMW, Peugeot, Ford, etc. Tell them it’s because their advertisements support “manufactured news and propaganda”, and that they will save money by not advertising.
  7. Do not support any political party whether in the Barisan Nasional or the opposition: all political parties own and control news media and produce “manufactured news and propaganda”. Tell them you won’t vote until they stop.
  8. Sell your shares in media companies and get everyone to do so. When the share price collapses, and the company goes bust, it will put a stop to “manufactured news and propaganda”.
  9. Boycott advertising agencies that buy space and air time.
    • Deprive the mass media of advertisement revenue. Boycott ad agencies also because they produce their own “manufactured news and commercial propaganda” called press releases, and expect journalists to use them.
    • Boycott all clients of advertising agencies, especially those that also produce “manufactured news and commercial propaganda” (press releases) and get journalists to use them.
    • Support independent advertising media such as your neighbourhood notice board or online advertising boards not connected to the mass media or or any political or business organisation that supports the mass media. When you need a job, want to sell your car, find a room, need a carpenter, a loan, or travel agent, don’t look at advertisements, look at bus stop notices.
  10. Boycott all public relations companies. They supply the media with “manufactured news and propaganda” (press releases) about companies and organisations, and encourage journalists to use them to produce other “manufactured news and propaganda”.

read another 10 things you can do