The media should initiate legal action to show the public that they do not simply report what they like, suggests Angry Malaysian.
There has been an increase in the number of incidents of the press being accused of misreporting and twisting someone’s words, especially after the media reports spark a public backlash.
I believe it is time the media or the media association starts legal action to counter these allegations to show the public that they do not simply report what they like and instead only report what was actually said. Given the recording gadgets available these days, the media should have the recordings to back up what they originally reported.
Without the media taking any direct action, this sort of ‘hanging’ accusations will linger and slowly erode press creditability.
Normally, what happens is the aggrieved party will make so much noise about suing the newspaper concerned – but then it rarely happens, either because of a lack of funds or the press was right in the first place, and the public soon forgets.
To avoid frequent claims of misreporting by various personalities, the press should take legal action in a court of law to deter such people from mouthing off and claiming they were misquoted.
Maybe it is time for the Malaysian press to have an independent complaints panel, where the public can file complaints to be investigated – in the same way that complaints can be filed against banks and the telecommunications industry.
Angry Malaysian is the pseudonym of an Aliran reader who is always angry because the bright future of Malaysia has been eroded by incompetence, nepotism, apathy, laziness, racism, double standards and arrogance.