Thursday, April 15, 2010

"The Star" Gives Professional Reporting Lesson — HM, Learn Something.

Yesterday, I featured a post on the biased and childish reporting from Harian Metro, which includes name-calling trans woman, “pondan”, 9 times, and tried to brush trans people with negative stereotypes. It is universally understood by everyone in the civilized world that morality and character has nothing to do with a person’s gender identity, yet Harian Metro attempted to correlate trans woman-hood, with cognitive sinister motives. Such blatant act of demonization deserves nothing but scorn. However, The Star shows how to do a proper report: just explain the situation without insulting people with derogatory words, and report on the news without attempting to single out and demonize any groups of people:

KUALA LUMPUR: A college student’s indecent act in front of a webcam has come back to haunt him three years later.

The 22-year-old from Sarawak, identified only as Chong, said he befriended a man, in his 30s, in an online chat room during his first year in a college here.

“He wanted me to teach him how to masturbate and show him how to do it,” he said. Chong masturbated in front of a webcam so that the man, known as Melvin, could see how it was done.

“But I did not know he recorded it and on March 14, he sent me a message asking me to have sex with him.

“He threatened to upload the recording on the Internet and asked for RM200 after I rejected his request for sex,” he told a press conference organised by the MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau here yesterday.

Chong said Melvin came to his house to collect the money. “He showed up again after two weeks and asked for more money,” he said, adding that he banked RM250 into Melvin’s account.

Chong said he did not lodge a police report or tell anyone about the recording and extortion as he was not sure what to do.

He decided to seek the help of bureau head Datuk Michael Chong because he was afraid that Melvin will continue asking for money.

When asked why he did what Melvin asked, Chong said he was naive and trusted people easily.

He said he stopped communicating with Melvin and did not reply to his messages after the masturbating incident because he felt something was not right.

Michael said last year, his bureau received five reports relating to online sex video clips and extortion.

He said five victims lost a total of RM570,000 to extortionists.

Early this year, a man was forced to pay RM4,600 to a woman who had his naked photos, he added.

Both men’s sexual orientation were never objectified and not sensationalized. The words “gay” and “homosexual” were never used. The same situation between a man and a woman was mentioned, showing the reality of the situation, and the truth that immoral behaviour or criminal activities are not exclusive to any sexual orientation or gender identity. This is the journalistic integrity that separates tabloids like Harian Metro with newspapers like The Star. Now, what we hope to see from The Star is consistency, as they resorted to tabloid style reporting before, or allow junk news to creep into its papers.

On Harian Metro, the character assassination on trans people as done by them can be honestly called what they are: hate speech that will explode into societal genocide if not checked. And Harian Metro’s often published discriminatory rants against trans people, places them as the leaders in creating an environment of potential hate crimes against human beings whose only disturbance in society, is to be born in a gender different from their sex. Something needs to be done to counter the utter disrespect Harian Metro shows to the trans community in Malaysia. Violent reported deaths of trans woman every year, worldwide, and the many more that are not reported, gives us a sad reminder of what such hatred can do.

Some are your friends. Some are your families. Wise up, Harian Metro. Is this what you want?


alan said...

Throughout history it doesn't matter what group in in social exile; "they" are tormented until suddenly "they" are one of our relatives, or we ourselves!

The wheels of progress grind much too slowly in this regard!


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