Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wikileaks Breathing New Life To The Relevance Of Blogs Debate...

Noam Chomsky's rise to fame as a champion against neo-liberal or indeed neo-conservative hegemony by the Western dominated 'Superclass' included the writing of a very weighty book, Manufacturing Consent, in the late 80's. In this book, he posits that the profit motive of mass-media already drives the news content of the news media business, i.e. what is mainstream media today, away from necessarily reporting with the public interest at heart.

Since the writing of the book and various updates - such as the shift in dogma from anti-communism to the 'War on Terror', mainstream media globally, but especially in the West, has undergone significant consolidation, such that 'media giants', now dominate not just the newspages, but television and even the silver screen. The various parts of these global media entities try to depict independence from any central controlling influence, conveying messages subtly.

The examples of this are various, such as the clear on-going propogation of the necessity of a 'War on Terror', finely laced with the acceptance of 'good Muslims', which vary from the religiously observant to the secular, but all wholeheartedly accepting the offerings of Western civilisation. However, 2009 also saw what I believed was the beginning of a subtle multi-media war against the new forms of independent journalisms; i.e. blogs.

One can now note on an occassional basis, blogs and other online news platforms being subtly maligned in TV shows and movies. The put-downs are subtle, such as the character Booth in the series Bones declaring the phrase 'important blogger' to be an oxymoron, or indeed Russel Crowe's character's derision of blogs as not carrying news but opinions in the film State of Play when mentoring a journo-blogger from his newspaper's online department.

These subtle putdowns are in this blogger's view, the beginnings of propaganda, designed as an attempt to plant seeds of doubt over the relevance of blogs as a form of citizen-journalism in the new media. No, not being overly dramatic nor thinking self is an over-important blogger. Simply noting that for the first time since 'pamphletering' became vogue as an instrument of propaganda, the now corporatised Fourth Estate has found a rival they can hardly cope with, blogs.

Such actions are not the first by traditional or 'old' media to curtail the influence of new media but merely the latest. Earlier attempts included corporate moves to dominate online companies, such as the AOL-TimeWarner deal. This was followed by the 'can't beat 'em, join 'em' strategy, with traditional Western newsmedia going online, complete with journo-bloggers. Whilst online penetration of 'old' media has been impressive, independent blogs continue to flourish...

And so the threat of independent citizen journalism against 'Manufactured Consent' persists... as so dramatically demonstrated recently by WikiLeaks!

Is this blogger overemphasising the significance of WikiLeaks' recent revelations? I do not think so. Of late, there has not been much triumph felt by citizen journalism as a global force. Sure, in countries like Malaysia, some difference may still be felt, but even here, where there is improving prosperity and when the government seems to getting its act together somewhat, citizen journalism may seem a tad pointless... but really it isn't!

WikiLeaks is an international sensation, but there was a time when the local sensation of our blogs have brought hope and addressed wrongs untouched by our traditional media, for we have our own home-grown 'Manufatured Content' of various hues. And as long as such traditional media does not give the public good its due priority, there will always be room for citizen journalism, for blogs, in the hearts, thoughts and actions of the people...


noraz said...

Brilliant piece....such hypocrisy of the 'made-in-the-west' news exposed when the manufacturers themselves are telling the world
that information is the currency of democracy. Now they know that information hurts, especially the truths!

David said...

The only correct conclusion to draw from the Wikileaks document leaked to the Sydney Morning Herald is that it is objectively likely that Anwar Ibrahim did engage in an unlawful act of sodomy in Malaysia for which he was charged.

The leaked document says nothing about whether the allegation applies to the current charge or the previous one for which he was convicted.

The evidence is based on a confidential document from Lee Kuan Yew to Australia and its intelligence apparatus the Office of National Assessment (ONA) based on communications intercepts by Singapore's intelligence apparatus of official Malaysian government communication traffic.

There is more to be said of that leaked document. Singapore actively spys on Malaysia's government. It is an admission of illegal conduct against a friendly country.

Additionally one has to remember that Lee Kuan Yew was a spy for the Japanese during World War 2 even though the Kepmpetai murdered many of his Chinese colleagues in Singapore and in Nanjing China.

The third and most potent point raised by this leaked document and why it must be used against Anwar Ibrahim is that Anwar was so ready to use the Lingham tape to hang Lingham and the then Chief Justice Fairuz without giving either of them the benefit of a response and before the tape itself could be authenticated.

The evidence of Lee Kuan Yew and Australian intelligence is far more credible than a thousand Anwar Ibrahims.

What's needed now to be determined is whether his daughter and wife can be trusted.

It is going to be difficult for a woman who claimed such intimate and passionate knowledge about this man (a chameleon) a spouse and father when something as intimate as his alleged bi sexuality was always an issue. Anwar and Pakatan have been screwed forever.

Gopal Raj Kumar did an analysis of the Lingham tape in which it warned on the reliance of such leaked documents. Anwar did not listen. It has now come to bite him in his behind.

Anwar's wife was the subject of a blurry film posted once on the internet where she was secretly filmed being intimate with a white journalist. Now whether that was genuine a document of her infidelity or not is debatable because the veracity of the document was not openly tested. The same with the Lingham tapes which Anwar released first then sought to be tested.

We have to ask therefore who ordered or influenced the judges in Malaysia's Federal Courts to overturn the Anwar sodomy conviction number 1. What is the impact on all of this on Raja Petra Kamaruddin the blogger who swears to what is clearly now a pack of lies. Should he be extradited to face trial for incitement, criminal defamation, treason and other criminal breaches?

Gopal Raj Kumar

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