Media Berani Bebas

Despite the spring that is in the air following the 8th March tsunami, we are distressed to note that the mainstream media (MSM) continue to slant news reports in favour of the BN parties and block news about PR or highlight unfavourable elements. The treatment of the events of 14th April, 2008 in Kampong Bahru comes to mind as a vivid illustration.

More than this, the MSM in general appear to be more comfortable reporting what this or that person said instead of reporting what their reporters observe. They are also still hesitant about conducting investigative reporting that is fearless and penetrating.

The BENAR civil initiative has been formed to highlight this blight in our democratic process and to call upon all segments of society to demonstrate their concern. The rationale of the BENAR logo expresses our stance.

“The QUILL in yellow is our symbol for a media that will speak on behalf of the people with honour and integrity, without fear or favour.

BENAR in white represents the people’s desire for truth and fairness in the media. To this end, we call on the media to stand forth boldly against the dark forces that want to deny the people’s pursuit of justice and liberty.

We recognize it will be a daunting task for a media that shall DARE TO BE FREE but we, the people, will stand united with you and if our hearts were to bleed, we will bleed as one.

Go forth for your badge of honour.”

BENAR will be officially launched immediately following the conclusion of the forum on Press Freedom organised by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) to be held on 3rd and 4th May, 2008.

Time: 2:00 pm

Date: Sunday, 4th May, 2008

Venue: Annexe, Central Market, Kuala Lumpur

We have invited both the local and foreign media to attend the launch and will explain to everyone our civil action initiative to promote Truth in Reporting. At the launch, we will also announce the Minggu BENAR of 1st to 7th June, 2008 during which week, everyone will be invited to do what they can to persuade those in control to remove the existing restrictions and allow our journalist community to carry out their responsibilities without fear or favour.

We will be challenging our local journalists to Dare to be Free. Civil society can only raise concerns and offer support. Any change has to come from within the journalist community. Minggu BENAR will be the opportunity for them to stand up or walk or do whatever is their preferred mode of expression, to visibly state their case.

We, the public, will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them.

BENAR Organising Committee


4 Responses to Media Berani Bebas

  1. Hey! Good People!
    My name is jeyapalan.t.s.mahesan!
    I will be there!
    Benar represents the only force, The Fifth Estate,
    that will restore the dignity of The Media!

  2. dear organising committee,


    my name is dani’el and i would like to show my support to “benar” as i strongly believe in it’s principals what it stands for.

    May i make a suggestion, it would be good to attach information of the the people behind “benar” as it would lend credibility and weight to its beliefs and i believe that it would draw more like minded people to it’s cause.

    Even if it is a “pro tem” committee, it is a great move and all those who initiated this idea deserve all the support they can get and i’m just one of the many, with i’m sure many more will come, who would support “benar’s” initiatives.

    ….for all those who would stand for “benar”, the “truth”


    dani’el kannan

    + 6 019 218 6981

  3. Antares says:

    Two months after GE12 and BN has FAILED the test. They totally lack the wherewithal to manage without resorting to deceit, hypocrisy and general sleaziness. And as long as they control the money – and the guns – all truthspeakers are endangered. Glad to see the momentum growing in the People’s Movement Towards KeBENARan, KeADILan, and KeBEBASan! With you in spirit all the way 🙂

  4. Strapped says:

    Hello there people of BENAR

    I commend your efforts, and I must say what a great job you have done.
    You guys are risking everything you have for the greater good.

    I’d just like to tell you that you have my full support, I have spread the word wherever I can, in every way possible. Unfortunately, that is as far as I may go.

    I’m sure there are others also like me, who would love to actively participate and contribute in these efforts, alas our hands are tied by obligations and responsibilities to our jobs and family. (Many of us as bread winners)

    Just know that it is not because we are afraid to speak up, but merely because we stand for so much more than just ourselves, our actions will have implications on the people we love.

    But otherwise, I am in support of your efforts 100% in mind and spirit.

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