Tuesday, 31 August 2010

BBC London is a Bloody Disgrace in Journalism

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"..(BBC's) HARD-Talk has not only FAILED its loyal viewers but it has FAILED to uphold the freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

It beggars belief that an established and world renowned organisation (BBC) can be held to ransom by the Malaysia government.

.. as this would upset the Malaysian government and may even expose the BBC to legal action... and makes this a problem for the BBC.

Since when was the BBC afraid of legal threats?

The fact that the BBC allowed itself to be manipulated means that it has failed itself, and its viewers.

It has compromised its principles and integrity...".


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Cop-out for BBC's HARDtalk


by

Mariam Mokhtar

Read here for more

The “HARDtalk” news programme, broadcast on BBC World News and the BBC News channel, is a half-hour interview when world renowned personalities are asked difficult questions, to discover their true stories and challenges.

Malaysia’s Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK) was scheduled to be interviewed on Wednesday, 1st September 2010. According to the MalaysiaToday site, Bridget Osborne from the BBC called to inform him that his interview had been cancelled.

HARDtalk appears to have failed its loyal viewers but it has failed to uphold the freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

According to Ms. Osborne, the BBC’s lawyers advised them not to proceed with the program as this would “upset the Malaysian government and may even expose the BBC to legal action”.

She explained that the questions they would pose to Raja Petra, “would be very sensitive in nature and critical of the government, would run foul of the Malaysian government”.

Another reason she offered was that “the program would be accessible in Malaysia”, and “makes this a problem for the BBC.”

Naturally, Malaysians the world over, are disappointed.

Raja Petra may be pleased to learn that the BBC rarely drops a program. However, the BBC’s about-turn means he is considered a liability. This gives him “street cred”.

Raja Petra would have been a viewer-catching asset and boosted viewer/listener numbers. But it appears that he is now a political liability.

But what exactly are the real reasons why the BBC dropped out? It beggars belief that an established and world renowned organisation such as the ‘Beeb’, can be held to ransom by the Malaysia government.

Such irony!

Raja Petra was probably going to mention the lack of freedom of expression in Malaysia.

Who would have thought that the stranglehold of the Malaysian government could reach thousands of miles away and silence Raja Petra?

This is indeed a sad day for civil liberties and freedom of speech. The fact that the BBC allowed itself to be manipulated means that it has failed itself, and its viewers. It has compromised its principles and integrity.

But who or what ordered this climbdown?

Most people are aware that Raja Petra is fond of running rings round the Malaysian government.

In a Malaysia which is beset by draconian laws and where is freedom of expression is lacking, Raja Petra’s site brings many Malaysians light relief.

He is both entertaining and a bit like a “cyber vigilante”. He is not unlike the Super-hero in cyberspace who exposes evil deeds.

Thus, if Raja Petra was expected to be critical of the Malaysian government, then would it not be judicious to have a representative of the Malaysian government present, to counter Raja Petra’s views and offer the Malaysian government’s official take, to the viewers?

That way a balanced and fair opinion is given, by both sides of the political divide.

Since when was the BBC afraid of legal threats?

Is this not a massive hint that there is a big story lurking somewhere? Isn’t the BBC eager to be the first, with the expose? Is it not eager to get to the bottom of the truth?

The United Kingdom government is aware that its arms industry is riddled with corruption. Previous governments are alleged to have concealed, and continues to conceal this, from both the parliament and the public.

It is possible that the reasons for the climbdown are not political but are purely economic.


Maybe the pressure was not from the Malaysian government but from the British government.

Perhaps, any excuse to not ruffle Malaysian government feathers, means the British government can have a smooth ride to support its arms sales.

And don't we all know how lucrative these are. Deal? Or no deal?

2 comments:

Country Arts said...

Shame, a very big shame and black blob on BBC

Country Arts said...

Shame, a very big shame and black blob on BBC