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Monday, January 28, 2008

Paper Free Tuesday

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Update @ Tuesday, January 29: Details of the press conference held yesterday can be found here (via The People's Parliament). Walski will post more on this when he can sneak some free time in... on the road again, by the way

Original post:
No, it's not an initiative to give away newspapers on Tuesdays...

If you've been following The People's Parliament these past few weeks, you would have noticed a series of posts called "Boycott the newspapers !". Well later today (Monday, January 28), a press conference will be held at Blog House, to unveil an initiative called Paper Free Tuesday.

Image hosting by PhotobucketWhen the buying stops, so will the lying...

Yes, it's essentially a boycott of the mainstream print press. Walski doesn't have much details right now, other than what you can read at The People's Parliament, or alternatively reports by Rocky, Ol' Blue Eyes, and Syed Syahrul Zarizi.

Unfortunately, due to the timing, Walski will not be able to attend, but felt it necessary to put the word out. If you would like to attend the press conference, the first thing you need to do is to drop an e-mail to the organizers.
(event details, and more, in the full post)

Full details of where and when:

Date: January 28th 2008

Time: 11.00am

Venue: BlogHouse @ No. 66, Lorong Setiabistari 1, Bukit Damansara, 50490, Kuala Lumpur

It's a well-known fact that the mainstream media, the print press in particular, are under the indirect control of Barisan Nasional, thru their proxies. That, and the repressive Printing and Presses Act, which allows the Ministry of Insecure Internals to control what news gets printed, and in certain cases, not get printed. Oh, and also arbitrary censorship of any media deemed "unsuitable".

You might think that penalizing the print media companies for being forced to follow the law is a little unfair. Well, look at it this way - they have a choice of how they report, if they had any journalistic integrity - something which is key to the news business the world over.

In Malaysia, on the other hand, journalistic integrity means printing only what you are allowed to - regardless of whether the news is biased or (in some cases) accurate. The problem lies with who owns the print media, and their relationship with BN. True, any media has its own bias, but when all of the media is biased in one direction, something is definitely amiss.

Walski has not purchased newspapers for at least the last 3 years, so boycotting the mainstream print press wouldn't be much of a problem. Besides, these days, the Internet provides an alternative means of reading the very same news we kill trees to print. So, indirectly, you'd be helping the environment, too.

The boycott essentially calls on all of us to forego buying ANY newspapers on Tuesday - not sure if it is this Tuesday specifically or every Tuesday (Walski will let you know once he gets the information).

One day a week without buying any papers is not going to kill you - it may take a little getting used to, but if you're a news junkie like Walski, there's always the online version.

Perhaps, when the buying stops, so will the lying...