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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Nasty Pee is pee worth avoiding

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Walski supports the Embargo.

Image hosting by PhotobucketNasty Pee - avoid if at all possible

On the print-version front, it makes no difference whatsoever - Walski stopped buying anything NSTP (pronounced: nasty pee - a pronunciation made popular by The Malay Male) a long time ago. It would be interesting to find out how much revenue is made with the print version, versus the online version, which in most cases is strewn with advertisements. Reading any NSTP publication online, therefore, would also bring them revenue.

Which is where RSS comes in. Using RSS (Really Simple Syndication), you still can get the headlines (if you still have the urge to monitor what's been written). You can either subscribe to the RSS feeds using online services, such as Bloglines, directly on your browser (if your using either IE7 or Firefox, for example), or use an RSS aggregator software application (such as FeedReader, which is what Walski uses - there are loads of others).
(the questions that you would probably have, and more in the full post)

FAQ #1: Aren't the things Rocky and Jeff saying libelous?
Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. Truth is that we don't really know. But that's beside the point. If what is being said about the NSTP aren't true, why haven't they refuted the allegations publicly? But the other reason, and probably the more important one, for supporting this embargo is that Walski wants to make it clear that he (plus the millions of other Malaysians, probably) is simply tired of the blatant one-sided approach taken by NSTP in reporting anything of national interest. They simply lack any sense of journalistic enquiry, in most cases, and in cases where they do exhibit some, it's very clear that they are actiing as the incumbent government's mouthpiece.

BTW - Walski doesn't happen to agree with every single thing Rocky and Jeff write about all the time. And yes, sometimes they do sound like a couple of whiny kids. We all do, probably, at one time or another. Again, that's beside the point. You don't have to agree with someone 100% of the time to appreciate their right to free, unimpeded speech. And yes, free speech hurts - especially on the receiving end. It's how one deals with it that makes the difference.

Plus, Walski also thinks that the suit is more than just a simple libel case. Yesterday, Malik Imtiaz, one of the lawyers representing Jeff, was informed that his column in the NST would be "suspended until the end of the case". Suspicious? You bet.

FAQ #2: What's in it for me to support this embargo?
Well, for one, you save on the price of the paper that you probably fork out on a daily basis, multiplied by the number of NSTP publications you buy daily. So that's, what? RM 1.20 x 30 days (assuming you only buy the NST), which is RM 36 ringgit a month, or RM 432 a year. That's compensation for the toll increase right there, if you live in the Klang Valley. Plus, save some trees in the process.

And if you're like Walski, not having to get that nauseous feeling having to read the lopsided style of reporting, day in, day out, is an added bonus. Yeah, he'll miss the great articles by Amir Muhammad on Thursdays, and Zainah Anwar on Fridays, but there's more than one way to skin a cat...

FAQ #3: How is the embargo going to help improve journalistic integrity?
In all likelihood, in the NST's case, probably not at all. They're a lost cause, Walski thinks (which is all more reason to embargo 'em). But it probably will drive home the realization in the minds of the management of the other MSM's that at the end of the day a media organization's worth depends heavily on whether or not anyone wants to read/listen.

What the hell good is a newspaper if no one wants to read it. And what the people really is honest, fair reporting, giving all sides equal airtime and column-inches. Particularly when it comes to election time. Or when issues of importance are discussed.

FAQ #4: Wouldn't an embargo put at risk the livelihood of journalists working for the NSTP?
Good journalists will always be in demand. Journalists who write nothing but approved drivel probably need a spell of work-drought, during which time they could hone their journalistic skills. If all else fails, teach. Except maybe for Jabba the Newsman - he really deserves to lose his job.

At the end of the day, what you decide to do about this is entirely up to you. Walski's made his stand. The embargo is not meant to be punitive to the NSTP, merely to encourage them to practice responsible journalism. Just like the NSTP's move to sue Jeff and Rocky is to promote responsible blogging.