Blogosphere or Blogofear: Part 2

Posted: October 13, 2007 in Freedom of Expression

Abd. Kadir Jasin a veteran journalist, a businessman, a blogger…….

Well Mr.Kadir Jasin is one of the 3 speakers who graced the Blogging and Digital Democracy Forum. In my last posting, I posted on what Rocky Bru had to say during the forum and summing it up he talked on journo-bloggers relationship. Today, I’d like to highlight what Abd.Kadir Jasin said when he asked, blogosphere or blogofear?

He liken the journalist who blog as “apostate journalist”. He commented that those in power often created fear, enough fear to paralyzed those commenting from being critical which I believe has been happening quite clearly ever since the defamation suits on blogger namely Rocky and Jeff early this year. The fear climate did not do much for youngsters as he felt it stifled them from making any critical views or commentaries, he noted how most bloggers who did critically pieces came for those who were much older rather than the assumption of it being the younger-ones. Which I find quite true, as we’d always assume that the youngers ones have the means, abilities and skills to blog quite comfortably as compared to the older ones who we might feel are pre-occupied with their life. But the truth is that those from the younger generation rather play games, mess around with Friendster and Facebook (things that do not need much effort or thinking skills)- a very small number from these generation are bothered to even blog let alone maintain a blog-long term.

“Component and opponent will continue to define and redefine institutions with serious challenges”- Kadir Jasin

These is especially reflected in the relationship with bloggers, mainstream media and the state. In my opinion, it is always us against them rather than working together. In fact its always either us or them. Perhaps this situation is so due to blog increasingly shaking the credibility of mainstream media which is quite apparent in the past and continues to occur. But as Kadir clearly mentions, it is essential for an awareness to be created among traditional readers and its audiences.

As Howsy said,”The current crackdown is not to create the fear for defamation lawsuits, but to instill the fear factor by lumping together bloggers that blog neutrally or not for the Government as an ‘anti-establishment’ group which needs to be curbed.” What Howsy commented on is very true, where bloggers are looked at as the enemy of the state literally and as an opposition against the government. Although I do agree that some blogs mostly have nothing nice to say about the government most of the time, they are times that bloggers do appreciate and applaud the state for their actions(although this is rare it does happen). But the blogging community is much bigger than just the political party blogs (obviously have their own agendas) but also involves a lot of non-partisan blogs(although it will be naive to say they do not have their own agendas personally) but it does not represent a particular agenda as a political party would hold. Anyway what I’m trying to say is that this whole notion of bloggers being the enemy has to be stopped for it is detrimental towards the developments of blog and what they stand for, after all a few rotten apples shouldn’t spoil the whole basket should it?

But as Kadir says blogs are not above the law, which I respect totally. We must and need to blog responsibly for we are subject to the same rules and regulations. We have to be civil and try to be as diplomatic as possible when presenting our views but at the same time I feel they should not be abuse of laws just to curb dissent or what they don’t like to hear. Justice must and should prevail despite opposing views. Blogs will continue to serve as great source of information providing it continues to gain credibility as it goes along as I do belief that as Kadir said being anonymous is a sticky situation as credibility can be questioned.

But in a much happier light, I think that bloggers are beginning to have some positive impact even in the mainstream media to a certain extent. Do look at the report on DR.M recovery from the time of the operation, leaving ICU and up till this very moment. Mainstream and international press has continued to report on his recovery relying largely on quotes and information from Ranting MM, a popular blog run by DR.M daughter, Marina Mahatir who has been constantly updating her father’s recovery updates regularly through her blog. Doesn’t this show some sort of change, no matter how small in terms of how blogs are represented? I believe things are changing despite it being in small squirts of development.

As time is an issue for me I can’t blog further today! Errr…So I’ll shall leave you with a question posed by Abd.Kadir Jasin which is something for blogger to ponder on…


Who are they? What do they want to be?

Part 3 will come soon. Sorry for the slow updates as I do not have access to my laptop. Till the next posting…


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