September 22, 2017

Specific ethical principles and standards of media

Khin Maung Oo

News and information on ARSA extremist terrorist attacks in Northern Rakhine State are moving round the world, as against the truth, that is, actual events, in abnormal appearances. In other words, the truth has plunged into a deep hole, because of the one-sided news and information based on partial and unconfirmed facts from unreliable sources, rather than the news and information which the national-level information committee is releasing in accord with the changing times.
By manipulating the presentation, approach, perspective and choice of words, some professional journalists have posted or broadcast news and articles. Consequently their postings and articles have been shared on social media such as Facebook. Thus the events that occurred in northern Rakhine State have been depicted as grave violations of human rights and inhumane tortures committed on the Muslim population in that area. Whereas the voice of the local media, national ethnic people from Rakhine State, innocent people who had been victimized by extremist terrorists, the reports written by a handful of respected journalists and scholars from the international community who reported on the actual events, nearly disappeared under the overwhelming and powerful influence of foreign media. They include racial agitations, resulting in protests and demonstrations against Myanmar and Myanmar diplomatic missions and Myanmar nationals in some countries, which can be said to be greater than protests against nuclear threats.
In regard to the affair of northern Rakhine State, unbiased news, information and researches conducted by interested researchers from foreign countries have come out recently. From these findings, we came to know that some matters need to be questioned, as to specific ethical principles and media standards of some international journalists. In the article written by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times, the writer gave a wrong pretext that his writing included only a few voices of local Rakhine nationals for fear that the long article would make readers bored. Out of the two sides, he laid stress on one side only. This is surely tantamount to giving priority to making profit rather than laying stress on truth and fairness. And, in the news coverage of BBC on September 7 presented by Reporter Jonathan Haidt who accompanied the Press team to Buthidaung and Maungtaw, the reporter said that some national ethnic people got involved in arson cases. His writing was found to have been based on unconfirmed news and information, by neglecting actual events on the ground. He has neglected to report about the Rakhine ethnic nationals and innocent people suffering from great difficulties, mine attacks planted by ARSA extremist terrorists, the brutal killing of innocent ethnic nationals, abduction and arsons.
Honesty, fairness and endowment of abilities to deal with any problem are real qualities of excellent journalists. Journalists should perform their
duties with genuine Cetana, in trying to find out the solution to a problem, by reporting news with detailed facts, without bias and without any desire for sensationalism.

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