A concerned Malaysian writes about Malaysian affairs. "You are the Change you Seek" Barack Obama

Friday, July 4, 2008

Handling the MEDIA - a MAJOR Test for Leaders

Following malaysiakini's lead, MSM has been playing catch-up and national leaders now have little time to prepare for important press conferences which are relayed quickly to websites so that people are kept informed as quickly as possible.

It is a major challenge for the media companies as today's news is history by tomorrow and if you are late to your viewers, you will be perceived as slow as your news is stale.

Just observe in recent days after the RPK's SD, the Anwar sodomy charge and the latest one by Bala, the MSM has been reacting faster and politicians now do not have the luxury of having days before a news reporter will ask the questions about the hottest happening.

To their credit, the top leaders too have responded quickly to the new challenge but not always to their advantage.

Although I have at times been critical of the PM's ability to speak well, he did better in the latest press conference by telling reporters that his deputy would be holding his own press conference and the Atantuuya case was "sub judice". That answer gave the reporters no avenue to ask more questions.

To me the DPM fared less well although he possesses a higher level of the English language. In this malaysiakini article headed:
" Najib denies affair with Altantuya"
the article goes:
On whether he conspired or attempted to cover up the murder, Najib reiterated: "No, absolutely not because I never, never met her at all."

Notice the use of a double negative separated by a comma. If you watch the video of the PC, he speaks as if there is no comma. He would leave us with less doubt about the truth if he had uttered. "...because I never, repeat never met her at all."

Then there is the disclosure that indeed he had met Saiful just before the latter made his police report.
In the other malaysiakini article:
"I am saying it because there has never been a conspiracy, you can't link the two things together. He just came for help, that's all and he never met me when he came to my office," said the deputy premier.

By failing to own up right at the very beginning, the DPM has lost much credibilty. He should have revealed this the moment the report against Anwar was lodged.

There is a very old saying "Honesty is the best policy" and I think it still applies today if the media is play a role in the new age of Knowledge. If you tell a lie, it can always come back to haunt you or you will need to tell another lie to cover up the first lie and after a series of lies you will forget which lie you told and when you told it.

Your life becomes a LIE.

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