internet media (round-table discussion)

aliran 002.jpg22 persons attended the charter 2000 aliran national round-table discussion on 9 dec. at the vistana hotel, penang. these persons consisted of bloggers, website editors, social activists, NGOs, and several of them were from KL. two were from canada.

the list of participants were as follows:

1. blogger peter tan of the digital awakening
2. blogger nik nazmi nik ahmad of nik
3. blogger jude manickam of mucked in a jam
4. blogger tony pua of education malaysia
5. blogger yours truly
6. chang teck peng of merdeka review
7. lin hong siang of merdeka review
8. tan lee ooi of freemedia
9. wong meng chuo of rengah sarawak
10. marie tan of women’s centre for change, penang (WCC)
11. jayamalar samuel of women’s centre for change, penang (WCC)
12. susan lim of the penang office of human development (POHD)
13. jennifer mourin of pesticide action network asia & the pacific (PANAP)
14. md. roslan hashim of jamaah islah malaysia (JIM)
15. s. ravindran of malaysian trade union congress
16. sonia randhawa of centre for independant journalism (CIJ)
17. khoo gaik cheng (USM rep)
18. francis loh (lecturer from USM, also aliran member)

19. sandy smeltzer of faculty of information & media studies (the canadian, met her once before)
20. douglas keddy, colleague of sandy, from the university of western ontario

21. shazwan mustafa kamal
22. angeline loh
23. anil netto
(all 3 above from aliran)and we have dr mustafa k. anuar, from aliran, who served as the moderator.

it was nice to see aliran’s president, dr p. ramakrishnan dropping in for a couple of hours with three of his staffs.

the discussion was divided into six sessions. as this is a round-table discussion, everyone were given the chance to have a say in all the sessions but to get the sessions going, we had a ‘key speaker’ for each sessions to get the sessions going.

session 1
internet communication: virtual space for freedom and democracy?
lead by dr mustafa

– is freedom on the internet ‘real’ in malaysia?
– what ‘freedom’ are we talking about? what do we do with this freedom?
– prospects and challenges for internet users.

session 2
responsible Journalism in the neo-liberal era
lead by sandy

– what is responsible journalism?
– is responsible journalism relevant to internet media?
– what are the issues not being adequately covered on the mainstream and alternative/internet media?

sandy talked on the MSC and focused on bio-technology, which she felt not adequately covered.

session 3
managing the internet media
lead by tony

– understanding the technology
– building traffic
– managing contentious issues
– managing comments

session 4
professionalism, ethics and credibility in internet media
lead by anil

session 5
media council: is self-regulation the solution?
lead by sonia

– what is media council?
– pros and cons of media council in malaysia
– would a media council lessen state control over malaysian media (mainstream and alternative/citizen media)

session 6
where do we go from here?
conclusion, open to all

some suggestions were:
– to start sort of a bloggers charter site where important or relevant news or issues that need to be addressed are posted for bloggers to pick up and blog. NGOs too can use it to as a platform to announce what issues they like the bloggers to address.

– to start some kind of awards for bloggers to encourage them. (was a bit vague on this, so no further comment!).

anyway, of course we were aware (yes, we do, ong, we do) that there were only 24 of us and we don’t speak for ALL, so we will see, how, somehow or other, we will seek other’s opinion or disseminate this information to a wider audience before we start anything. (hope i’m right, sonia, correct me if i’m wrong).

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