Sejak kebelakangan ini, aku lebih banyak membaca news yang lebih ‘bebas’ dan tidak nampak bias. Its more to online portal. Lets try to avoid yang %&*(((*&. Lagi syok membaca news di laman sosial. Macam macam ragam boleh kita tengok hahaha. Kekadang lucu pun ada juga. Seronok baca.
Salah satu news portal yang aku selalu baca ialah my Sin Chew Daily versi English. Akhbar berbahasa cina yang telah diterjemahkan ke dalam bahasa Inggeris. Salah satu topik yang menarik dalam portal ini ialah ‘Are Chinese newspapers racist too?’. A very good points di situ.
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Do Chinese newspapers resort to racism? I don’t think so. The facts speak for itself.
Chinese newspapers have the highest per capital readership and it is not wrong to say many Chinese read more than one newspapers. There are more Chinese newspapers in the country than all newspapers in other languages combined. The largest weekday circulation newspaper in the country is a Chinese newspaper- Sin Chew Daily. Chinese newspapers all have their own niche readership and compete against one another on the basis of their respective editorial offerings and not racism.
Essentially, Chinese newspapers are not owned by any political party nor are aligned to any. They do not survive on political handouts or patronage. They survive solely as commercial enterprises relying on reader loyalty and advertisements.
It is a phenomenon that only Chinese newspapers in Malaysia are proliferating. Even in a predominantly Chinese populace like Singapore, Chinese newspapers there have seen their better days.
In short, Chinese newspapers serve a useful purpose to the Chinese community. Racism is not part of their secret of success.
Chinese newspapers cater to Chinese interests and all things Chinese, among other things. Yes, they are as Chinese as can be. But by no stretch of imagination can this be tagged as racism.
To give a semblance of balance, some Chinese newspapers go out of the way to recruit even Malay columnists; not because they are Malays but because they write well. For instance, Sin Chew Daily has given editorial space to columnists like Tunku Abdul Aziz, Farish Noor, Karim Raslan, and occasionally, Zainah Anwar of Sisters in Islam. Space was even given to an Umno minister.
Sin Chew Daily has even put up an English language website as a public service to enable those who can’t read Chinese to access its key editorial content, mainly its op-ed pages.
It is not easy for Chinese newspapers to maintain an even keel. Some readers have been persistently lambasting mainstream Chinese newspapers as servile apologists of the establishment and running dogs of the ruling coalition.
On the other hand, the government often times accuse Chinese newspapers as pro-opposition and anti-government when the facts speak otherwise.
Just a few days before becoming Prime Minister, Najib made a courtesy call on Sin Chew Daily on his own initiative, the first by a Prime Minister to a Chinese newspaper. He met the key editors and had a frank discussion. He subsequently made another visit. Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein called a meeting of editors of Chinese newspapers to “try to understand why Chinese newspapers are anti-government.” At the suggestion of the editors themselves, a monthly dialogue was initiated. But this fizzled out subsequently.
In the run-up to the just completed general elections, Chinese newspapers were careful to offer as fair coverage as possible under the circumstances. Editors even went to the extent of story count and photo positioning so as not to be accused as overly favouring either the ruling or opposition coalition. Yet some remain entirely unhappy.
The election coverage was about election issues. These are the issues raised in the manifestos of both coalition parties contending in the elections. The Chinese newspapers were extra careful about race and religion if and when raised during the campaign period.
I do not know what prompted some people to make negative remarks about Chinese newspapers. I can only guess, they were fatigued by the vigorous campaigning or under pressure that the MCA, the main Chinese component in the ruling coalition suffered a disastrous outing.
Only time will vindicate the Chinese newspapers. Racism has no place in the country’s newspapers whatever the language stream it may be.