Sunday, May 11, 2008

World Press Freedom Day Photos

After an incredibly successful World Press Freedom Day Weekend, the photos have arrived! If you weren't able to make it out to the event, or if you were there and want some photos to help remember it by, we highly recommend taking a look at our flickr account for the rest of our photos:

One of the most successful elements of the event was the ability for visitors to openly participate in the creating of their own news. "The New Era" of News invited participants to record their own versions of articles already covered in the mainstream media, that may not have been properly covered. The display also provided a forum for people to give their feedback on what they think of the current media, and what they would want from their media outlets in an ideal world. The issues that came up most consistently were wanting to know that stories are founded entirely on truth, wanting to see a separation between the government and the media, and of particular importance was ensuring that minority issues are being fairly represented.

The display seen hanging in the middle of the room is an illustration of the media-bias during the election period. One side of the display illustrates the percentage of each paper's stories that were slanted to be pro-BN, while the opposite side demonstrates the same papers' pro-Opposition coverage. This piece of installation art invoked a lot of thought in people who had not realized what a hand the media has to play in politics, and what a discrepancy there is between the pro-BN and pro-Opposition representation.

The event was a definite success, and we look forward to hearing any feedback you may have, and any thoughts you might have for what we should start thinking about for next year!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Roadmap to Media Freedom successfully defined!

The two-day World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) celebration organized by CIJ concluded successfully with a remarkable increase in participation and interest in media freedom issues among the public. They came and asked questions, engaged with our fellow panelists during the two rounds of talks, filled up all slots on the signature sheets for the WPFD petition, spoke up on what they aspired for the media in their messages on the wall and in the "annoymous" box, and grabbed our books and leaflets.

We were heartfelt at the interest and presence of the public at both talks - Towards Ethical Media on May 3 and Towards Media Law Reform on May 4, which attracted on average 100 people each session. Dialogues between stakeholders on media freedom - the main objective for the talk- was achieved. In the first talk, media practitioners explained the conflict between newsroom and the state in upholding ethics, but all is not lost as an editor's personal commitment to ethical practices can still make a difference. In the second talk, the public got a better understanding on what a freedom of information bill and the parliamentary caucus on media freedom, which the Pakatan MPs will initiate- can do to media freedom and what should the people's expectation be for this two instruments.

We thank you for your support and participation and we definitely hope to see all of you again next year. Watch out for this blog for pictures of the Roadmap to come!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Media Independence Survey

As one of the all day activities happening at the Annexe, CIJ will be running a poll on Malaysians' perception on media independence in the country. Collaborating with polling firm Merdeka Centre, this survey is a major project to gauge public understanding of media independence and to what degree they think it exists in the local media. We are looking at a sample size of 1500 people and that's why we want you to participate in it!

We just need 10 minutes from you to sit down, fill in the questionnaire and return the form to us. Your 10 minutes will contribute towards improving our work on media freedom!

Interactive Exhibition - Media for the New Era

How is the future Malaysian media going to be? Our exhibition will be showcasing some glimpses of the future media - from your point of view. Yes, you. Our wall will be the space for you to express your media wish list. Like the holed sheet in the picture, we would like the public to fill up the blanks with their expectations and needs. After all, a the purpose of the free media is to serve the public's interest. So, feel free to put on the exhibition wall your wishes in any way - write, draw, paint, pose? See you there!