Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Iklan Jawatan Kosong di USM - 25 Disember 2010

Sila klik di sini untuk mendaftar e-recruit

Iklan Disember 2010 (Kampus Kejuruteraan) (Dibuka dari 26/12/2010 sehingga 9/1/2011)
Jawatan Jabatan Bidang Jenis
1/1. Juruteknik J17
Elektrik & Elektronik Tetap
2/2. Juruteknik J17
Aeroangkasa/Mekanik Tetap
3/3. Pegawai Pergigian U41

4/4. Pegawai Perubatan UD41

5/5. Pembantu Pembedahan Pergigian U17

Iklan Disember 2010 (Kampus Induk, Pulau Pinang) (Dibuka dari 26/12/2010 sehingga 9/1/2011)
Jawatan Jabatan Bidang Jenis
1/6. Ahli Fotografi B17

2/7. Jururawat Pergigian U29

3/8. Juruteknologi Makmal Perubatan U29

4/9. Pegawai Farmasi U41

5/10. Pegawai Kewangan W41

6/11. Pegawai Penyelidik Q41/Q43/Q47/Q51/Q53
Kejuruteraan Kimia/ Kimia Tetap
7/12. Pegawai Penyelidik Q41/Q43/Q47/Q51/Q53
Fisiologi/ Farmakologi/ Social Adminstrative Pharmacy Tetap
8/13. Pegawai Pergigian U41

9/14. Pegawai Perubatan UD43

10/15. Pembantu Laut A17

11/16. Pembantu Pembedahan Pergigian U17

12/17. Pembantu Tadbir (Pekeranian/Operasi) N17

13/18. Penolong Akauntan W27

14/19. Penolong Pegawai Belia Dan Sukan S27

15/20. Penolong Pegawai Penerbitan N27

16/21. Penolong Pegawai Penerbitan N27
Berpengalaman dalam bidang penerbitan atau berpengalaman sebagai wartaw... Tetap
17/22. Penolong Pegawai Sains C27

Iklan Disember 2010 (Kampus Kesihatan/HUSM, Kelantan) (Dibuka dari 26/12/2010 sehingga 9/1/2011)
Jawatan Jabatan Bidang Jenis
1/23. Juru X-ray U29
Diagnostik/Terbuka Tetap
2/24. Jurupulih Perubatan U29
Cara Kerja Tetap
3/25. Jururawat Pergigian U29

4/26. Juruteknik Komputer FT17

5/27. Juruteknologi Pergigian U29

6/28. Pegawai Kewangan W41

7/29. Pegawai Penyelidik Q41/Q43/Q47/Q51/Q53

8/30. Pegawai Pergigian U41

9/31. Pegawai Perubatan UD43

10/32. Pegawai Teknologi Maklumat F41

11/33. Pegawai Veterinar G41

12/34. Pekerja Awam Khas R3

13/35. Pembantu Kesihatan Awam U17

14/36. Pembantu Pembedahan Pergigian U17

15/37. Pembantu Setiausaha Pejabat/Setiausaha Pejabat N27

16/38. Pembantu Tadbir (Pekeranian/Operasi) N17

17/39. Penolong Pegawai Teknologi Maklumat F29

18/40. Penolong Pengurus Asrama N27

Iklan Disember 2010 (Institut Perubatan & Pergigian Termaju) P Pinang (Dibuka dari 26/12/2010 sehingga 9/1/2011)
Jawatan Jabatan Bidang Jenis
1/41. Pegawai Pergigian U41

2/42. Pegawai Perubatan UD43
Perubatan Intergratif/ Hematologi/ Perubatan Transfusi/ Pakar Bius/ Pak... Tetap
3/43. Pegawai Perubatan UD47/UD48
Perubatan Intergratif/ Hematologi/ Perubatan Transfusi/ Pakar Bius/ Pak... Tetap
4/44. Pegawai Perubatan UD51/UD52
Perubatan Intergratif/ Hematologi/ Perubatan Transfusi/ Pakar Bius/ Pak... Tetap
5/45. Pegawai Perubatan UD53/UD54
Perubatan Intergratif/ Hematologi/ Perubatan Transfusi/ Pakar Bius/ Pak... Tetap
6/46. Pegawai Veterinar G41

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

120 USM posts vacant by year end?

By the end of this year a total of 110 USM staff will retire from their service in the university.

77 of them are from Kampus Induk (Main Campus, Penang)

10 are from Kampus Kejuruteraan (Engineering Campus, Nibong Tebal, Penang)

23 are from Kampus Kesihatan (Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan).

Total: 110

10 of them has died while in service, making a total 120 of posts left vacant.

Question: will the posts be filled with an intake of new staffers?

Source: Kakitangan USM Perlu Kental Hadapi Cabaran

Thursday, December 16, 2010

School of Communication USM - something to shout about

I just got this in my mail:
Salam Sejahtera,
Sukacita dimaklumkan bahawa kumpulan penuntut projek tahun akhir 2009/2010, 'NEMGRADS USM-MALAKOFF Environmental Awareness Project 2010" di bawah penyeliaan Dr.Jamilah Haji Ahmad telah dipilih oleh The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) untuk dianugerahkan dengan ACU PR AWARDS 2010 bagi kategori "OUTREACH AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS". Majlis penganugerahan telah diadakan pada 24 November 2010 di Melbourne, Australia.
TAHNIAH kepada Dr.Jamilah dan kumpulan NEMGRADS yang meletakkan nama PPK di peringkat antarabangsa.
Sekian, Terima Kasih
Dr. Azman Azwan Azmawati
Deputy Dean  (Academic and Student Development)
School of Communication
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800, Penang, Malaysia

Universities from around the Commonwealth win awards for PR excellence
Universities in Australia, Canada, India and South Africa were amongst the winners of the annual Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) PR, Marketing and Communications Awards, announced at a special Gala Dinner last night (25 November) in Melbourne, Australia.
The award winners – provided with a bursary by the ACU to attend the conference – each received a trophy in recognition of their achievement. The awards were presented by Peter Reader, Director of Marketing and Communications at the University of Portsmouth, UK, and Chair of the PR, Marketing and Communications Network steering committee. He emphasised the high quality of entries across all four categories, and praised the diversity of submissions – 81 entries were received from 43 universities in 15 countries.
The results of the 2010 ACU PR, Marketing and Communications Awards are:
Student publications
Winner: Athabasca University, Canada – Athabasca University Student Recruitment Publications
Honourable mentions: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa – Way2Go and Aspire
University of Leicester, UK – Postgraduate Prospectus
Corporate publications
Winner: Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India – Raintree – Notes from the Campus
Honourable mentions: Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada – 2010 President's Report
University of the Free State, South Africa – Dumela Newsletter
Winner: Murdoch University, Australia – Beyond the student prospectus: Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube:
Honourable mentions: Strathmore University, Kenya – Strathmore University website,
University of the West Indies at St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago – UWI Today,
Outreach and community relations
Winner: Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia – NEMGRADS USM-MALAKOFF Environmental Awareness Project 2010
Honourable mentions: Glasgow Caledonian University, UK – The Caledonian Club
North West Frontier Province University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan – UET Gemstone Development Centre (GDC)
Notes to editors:
1. The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) was established in 1913 and is the oldest inter-university network in the world, with over 500 members in six continents. Its
mission is to strengthen the higher education institutions within its membership through international co-operation and understanding. The ACU operates a series of professional networks for staff in key roles, undertakes research and policy analysis on key issues in international higher education, and has active programmes in libraries and information, research management, gender and university governance. Her Majesty the Queen, the Head of the Commonwealth, is Patron of the ACU. For further information, visit
2. The ACU PR, Marketing and Communications Network was launched in 2003 and currently has over 400 members across 300 institutions Commonwealth-wide. The network is open to communications professionals in all ACU member organisations. It brings together professionals in the field and provides a practical channel through which members can exchange experiences, share good practice and keep abreast of current thinking. The network is hosting its 3rd biennial conference in Melbourne, from 24-26 November 2010.
3. The ACU PR, Marketing and Communications Awards began in 2005, and aim to recognise, encourage and celebrate the achievements of universities and the professionals who work within them, and to draw attention to models of good practice for the higher education sector internationally. Entries are judged by an international panel of experts, and all entrants receive feedback on the strengths of their entry and recommendations for its enhancement.
4. For further information, please contact:
Natasha Lokhun
+44 (0)20 7380 6760

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Malaysian IPTA & IPTS website ranking according to Webometrics

If you think the and ranking of local IPTAs as published in this blog previously is superficial as it only gathers the number of hits (or popularity) of the websites, then this Webometrics ranking will give you a more balanced answer to whatever needs your curiosity might demand.

The Webometrics is an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain. It is also called the Ranking Web of World Universities.

Since 2004, the Ranking Web is published twice a year (January and July), covering more than 20,000 Higher Education Institutions worldwide. Its intention is to motivate both institutions and scholars to have a web presence that reflect accurately their activities.

For more clarification regarding the motivations of the Ranking or the methodology, please read the FAQ.

As stated in its website, the original aim of the Ranking is to promote Web publication.  

Therefore, if an institution's web performance is below the expected position (according to their academic excellence), university authorities should reconsider their web policy, promoting substantial increases of the volume and quality of their electronic publications.

Listed below is the 16 top ranking Malaysian IPTA and IPTS according to webometrics as gathered on 9 December 2010.

No 1. Universiti Sains Malaysia
No. 9 in South East Asia, No.58 in Asia and No.585 in world ranking

No.2. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
No. 13 in South East Asia, No.77 in Asia and No.758 in world ranking

No.3.  Universiti Putra Malaysia
No. 14 in South East Asia, No.81 in Asia and No.773 in world ranking

No.4.  University of Malaya
No. 18 in South East Asia, No.96 in Asia and No.850 in world ranking

No.5. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
No. 20 in South East Asia and No.913 in world ranking

No.6. Universiti Teknologi Mara
No.29 in South East Asia and No.1246 in world ranking 

No.7  International Islamic University Malaysia
No. 32 in South East Asia and No.1400 in world ranking

No. 8  Multimedia University
No. 33 in South East Asia and No.1403 in world ranking

No. 9 Universiti Utara Malaysia
No. 40 in South East Asia and No.1534 in world ranking

No.10 Universiti Malaysia Perlis
No. 44 in South East Asia and No.1629 in world ranking

No.11 Universiti Teknologi Petronas
No. 67 in South East Asia and No.2304 in world ranking

No.12 Universiti Tenaga Nasional
No. 72 in South East Asia and No.2361 in world ranking

No.13 University of Nottingham Malaysia
No. 80 in South East Asia and No.2643 in world ranking

No.14 Universiti Malaysia Sabah
No. 88 in South East Asia and No.2825 in world ranking

No.15 Universiti Malaysia Pahang
No. 89 in South East Asia and No.2840 in world ranking

No.16  Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia
No. 94 in South East Asia and No.2983 in world ranking 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Malaysian IPTA website ranking according to Alexa and Bizinformation

Below are the details of the top Malaysian IPTAs website and their popularity ranking according to

Also included are details from and the internet valuation of the sites. 

Both data were collected on 1 December 2010.

Only 16 IPTA websites were listed for this survey, as the rest of the IPTA sites were far off the ranking from this top group (of 15). Even the last IPTA website, No.16 was ranked 13,746 in Alexa Malaysia's ranking.

For more details on how rates your website, go to its Website Information

And as for how rates the value of your website, not much info is given. The home page only says it is just an estimated value of your website.

Number of Pages 103,971
External Links 29,705
  • Alexa Traffic Rank: 34,014
  • Traffic Rank in MY: 159
  • Sites Linking In: 416 valuation RM 1.27 Million
Daily Pageviews
49,663 *
Daily Visitors
10,728 *

Number of Pages 183,683
External Links 35,945
  • Alexa Traffic Rank: 38,800
  • Traffic Rank in MY: 253
  • Sites Linking In: 461 Valuation RM 1.14 Million
Daily Pageviews
43,362 *
Daily Visitors
9,610 *

Number of Pages 113,197
External Links 39,975
  • Alexa Traffic Rank: 37,171
  • Traffic Rank in MY: 276
  • Sites Linking In: 569 valuation RM 1.26 Million
Daily Pageviews
56,715 *
Daily Visitors
10,599 *

Number of Pages 92,939
External Links 40,625
  • Alexa Traffic Rank: 46,405
  • Traffic Rank in MY: 289
  • Sites Linking In: 582 valuation RM 1.11 Million
Daily Pageviews
47,563 *
Daily Visitors
9,331 *

Number of Pages
  • Alexa Traffic Rank: 42,892
  • Traffic Rank in MY: 300
  • Sites Linking In: 487 valuation RM 2,234.72

Number of Pages 136,014
External Links 46,865
  • Alexa Traffic Rank: 53,582
  • Traffic Rank in MY: 465
  • Sites Linking In: 716 valuation RM 886,250.32
Daily Pageviews
24,156 *
Daily Visitors
7,439 *


  • Alexa Traffic Rank: 110,539
  • Traffic Rank in MY: 641
  • Sites Linking In: 358 Valuation RM 2,054.16

    External Links
    • Alexa Traffic Rank: 165,512
    • Traffic Rank in MY: 929
    • Sites Linking In: 237 valuation RM 263,581.57
    Daily Pageviews
    11,103 *
    Daily Visitors
    2,193 *

    • Alexa Traffic Rank: 98,984
    • Traffic Rank in MY: 1,047
    • Sites Linking In: 90 Valuation RM 2,073.09

    Number of Pages
    External Links
    • Alexa Traffic Rank: 200,891
    • Traffic Rank in MY: 1,333
    • Sites Linking In: 166 Valuation RM 143,612.4
    Daily Pageviews
    3,751 *
    Daily Visitors
    1,182 *

    External Links
    • Alexa Traffic Rank: 189,397
    • Traffic Rank in MY: 1,356
    • Sites Linking In: 371 valuation RM 217,321.53
    Daily Pageviews
    7,352 *
    Daily Visitors
    1,806 *

    External Links
    • Alexa Traffic Rank: 390,169
    • Traffic Rank in MY: 3,822
    • Sites Linking In: 375 valuation RM 123,276.21
    Daily Pageviews
    3,601 *
    Daily Visitors
    1,010 *

    Number of Pages
    External Links
    • Alexa Traffic Rank: 282,509
    • Traffic Rank in MY: 3,940
    • Sites Linking In: 151 valuation RM 164,044.39
    Daily Pageviews
    3,751 *
    Daily Visitors
    1,354 *

    Number of Pages
    External Links
    • Alexa Traffic Rank: 357,150
    • Traffic Rank in MY: 5,789
    • Sites Linking In: 121 valuation RM 110,319.02
    Daily Pageviews
    2,701 *
    Daily Visitors
    903 *

    Number of Pages
    External Links
    • Alexa Traffic Rank: 818,258
    • Traffic Rank in MY: 6,693
    • Sites Linking In: 120 valuation RM 123,283.7
    Daily Pageviews
    5,852 *
    Daily Visitors
    1,010 *

    Number of Pages
    External Links
    • Alexa Traffic Rank: 1,548,326
    • Traffic Rank in MY: 13,746
    • Sites Linking In: 105 valuation RM 33,846.02
    Daily Pageviews
    600 *
    Daily Visitors
    258 *

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Interview with LIFE: THE MALAYSIAN STYLE! writer Peggy Tan

    I reproduce here the interview with Peggy Tan Pek Tao taken from Berita Kampus' latest issue (pg 15, Volume 40. No 6) due for distribution on Monday 25 October 2010. Reason: there is a slim chance it would be published on Berita Kampus Online.

    Peggy Tan Pek Tao, 54 lectures at Universiti Sains Malaysia’s School of Languages, Literacy’s and Translation. Her book Life: The Malaysian Style won first prize in the non-fiction category of the Popular-The Star Readers’ Choice Award 2010 which was held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on 6 September during the ongoing BookFest@Malaysia 2010. Follow the exclusive interview by Berita Kampus' journalist, Amanina Nazari and Winarti Talib.

    Q: Can you tell us an overview about your background?
    A: I have been teaching for 30 years and 25 years in USM. I have three grown up children and have a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English literature and I love teaching. I have written grammar books and published articles on strategies in teaching English language using drama, and have published books on english literature and grammar. I have acted in plays with the Penang Players. I am a mountain climber and scuba diver. I have written on nature conservation, feminism articles in newspapers and magazines.

    Q: When do you begin writing? What encouraged you to give it a try?
    A: I have always desired to write but I have found it is kind of difficult having three children so I began when they grew up. I write because there are few Malaysian writers and it

    Q: Is Life: The Malaysian Style your first writing?
    A: I have published academic articles and journals in America and local universities and I have lectured on english literature, language teaching, learning and feminist studies. Is Life: The Malaysian Style is my second publications, my first book is entitled Tales of the heart. In Is Life: The Malaysian Style I write about the cultural aspects and the fascinating Malaysian lifestyle. Malaysian life is unique and being multi-racial, many foreigners admire our life here. This book gives an insight to the light and sparkling side of local experiences.

    Q: Where do you draw inspiration/strength?
    A: I am inspired by the colourful life and by friends and students.

    Q: Why do you think your books are such a success?
    A: Malaysians enjoy reading local books written by Malaysians. Generally we wish to encourage our own local writers to get published. My book is humorous and reflects real life and they are true stories and they reflect how people cope with their problems and seek fulfilment. That's why it is the best seller in Malaysia.

    Q: Can you tell readers about your next project after the book Life: The Malaysian Style?
    A: My next book is entitled Gifts from the Hearts will be published by Pelanduk Publishers, Kuala Lumpur. This book is more literally and half of the book is literature based. Life: The Malaysian Style 2 will be published next year. This book will be similar to my book which won the award.

    Q: October is reading month, what is your advice to encourage reading habits among students?
    A: Lecturers and schools at USM have to play significant roles and take effort to encouraged students to read books. For examples, lecturers should ask students read more books and write summary of the books. For science subject, lecturers should encourage them to borrow more books from the library. USM also can take actions such as all the schools at USM have to organize English Week for example a few times in a semester. All the students must talk in English in class or around the campus for whole week or month maybe.

    *Life: The Malaysian Style is a collection of true anecdotes that shows the sparkling side of Malaysian experiences in love, work and life.

    TheStar news: English lecturer’s book bags first prize in non-fiction

    Peggy's blog : Sunny Life by Peggy Tan

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    USM's Student Parliament on the go

    The student “parliament” in USM materialised with its first trial run at the Dewan Persidangan Utama, USM main campus on 25 September 2010 after receiving approval from the University's governing body, the LPU (Lembaga Pengarah Universiti).

    The student “parliament” is called Dewan Perundingan Pelajar or Student Consultative Council and is governed by the university under the USM's constitution (section 64).

    Deputy Vice Chancellor (BHEPP), Prof Datuk Omar Osman (pic below), while officiating the "parliament" wants students to take this opportunity to prove that 'we' are a role model for student leaders in this country and that we still lead, as the moto of the university says.

    A total of 58 board members of "Yang Berhormat" had a chance to voice out their opinions and concerns of students in this first trial "Parliament". Out of the 58 members, 39 were chosen from the existing Student Representative Council (Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar, USM) while another 19 were selected from the 177 such societies, bodies and clubs in USM.

    Prof Omar Osman said the "Parliament" will be given full liberty to operate on its own without the university's official participation.

    Omar also stressed that all members of the Student Consultative Council has an equal status as a member of the board and that every member can debate without having to affiliate themselves with any party, body or society, whether government or NGOs.

    This also means that there are no supporting nor opposition party in the "Parliament". Each and every member can debate in support or oppose one another based on the motion or issues proposed. More detailed news on the student "Parliament" can be found in the latest publication of Berita Kampus, 11 October 2010.

    USM was the first university in the country to come out with a proposal to form a student “parliament” since a few years back.

    Early this year in January, Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said he expected universities in the country to start their own “students’ parliament and to come out with their own models as the ultimate aim is to encourage intellectual discussions amongst students.

    Saifuddin said the proposal came from his “teh tarik” meetings with university students two weeks earlier which was organised through his own Facebook page. He added that the formation of the “parliament” will mark a new milestone in increasing the participation of undergraduates in discussions concerning government policies.

    Initially, the idea was initiated by USM's Vice Chancellor, Prof Dzulkifli Abdul Razak back in 2004, calling for the formation of such a body with the “constituencies” comprising all the country’s universities.

    Monday, September 27, 2010

    Kebebasan media di Malaysia sempit?

    I am reproducing an article from the latest publication of Berita Kampus published and distributed today 27 September 2010 by Yap Jia Hee, a final year Journalism student.

    This write-up is very well done (researched & interview included) and I hope more reports and article of this quality be publish in future issues of Berita Kampus. The title is as mentioned above (sans question mark) and is quite intriguing, to say the least.

    Kebebasan media di Malaysia sempit

    Oleh Yap Jia Hee

    Pic courtesy of theStar online
    JAMALUDDIN Ibrahim, pengacara rancangan “Say Hi to Malaysia” di stesen radio 98.8 telah dipecat jawatan secara rasmi pada 8 September 2010. Pengacara Melayu yang terkenal dengan kefasihan bahasa Cinanya telah mendapat surat amaran daripada Suruhanjaya Multimedia dan Komunikasi Malaysia (MCMC) dengan merujuk kepada rancangannya yang berlangsung pada 13 Ogos 2010 yang membicarakan isu hubungan kaum di negara ini.

    Menurut Jamaluddin, kesalahan yang disabit kepadanya oleh MCMC ialah mengancam keselamatan negara dan merosakkan hubungan kaum. Stesen radio 98.8 kini berdepan dengan tekanan dan risiko untuk diambil tindakan di bawah Akta Multimedia dan Komunikasi 1998.

    Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif stesen radio 98.8 Wong Lai Ngo dan Pengarah Program tan Chia Yong telah digantungkan jawatan. Kelangsungan ‘Say Hi to Malaysia’ menjadi tanda soal apabila rancangan perbincangan hal ehwal semasa ini telah digantikan dengan penyiaran muzik dan laporan buletin. Stesen radio 98.8 merupakan salah satu saluran radio dalam syarikat Star Rfm Sdn Bhd yang dimiliki oleh parti Persatuan Cina Malaysia (MCA).

    Mengikut laporan editor Merdeka Review Lim Hong Siang, rancangan ‘Say Hi to Malaysia’ merupakan rancangan yang paling popular untuk stesen radio 98.8 yang mencatat 600,000 hingga 700,000 pendengar kerana menyediakan pentas untuk pandangan yang lebih kritikal. Walaupun media ini dimiliki oleh MCA, pemimpin pembangkang turut diberi ruang dalam rancangan ini. Namun, dari pandangan pihak berkuasa, rancangan sebegini semestinya tidak seimbang dan bias terhadap kerajaan.

    Sementara itu, empat akhbar Cina utama iaitu Sin Chew Daily, Guang Ming, Nanyang dan China Press serta akhbar The Star dan New Straits Times hanya melaporkan kes Jamaluddin ini dalam ruang kecil di halaman dalaman akhbar. Utusan Melayu dan Berita Harian pula langsung tidak melaporkan kes Jamaluddin.

    Menurut Lim, empat akhbar Cina utama tersebut malah tidak melaporkan ‘ceramah kebebasan media’ oleh Jamaluddin dan beberapa penganalisa politik yang diadakan di Dewan Perhimpunan Cina Kuala Lumpur dan Selangor pada 26 Ogos 2010 dan Kolej Han Chiang di Pulau Pinang pada 27 Ogos 2010.

    “Tindakan akhbar tersebut yang cuba menutup berita Jamaluddin itu telah mencabul hak tahu rakyat,” kata Lim dalam ceramah kebebasan media di Kolej Han Chiang. Walau bagaimanapun, akhbar Oriental Daily dan Kwong Wah Yit Poh telah melaporkan berita Jamaluddin di halaman hadapan dan ketiga dalam akhbar.

    Pensyarah Pusat Pengajian Komunikasi Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Prof. Madya Dr Mustafa K. Anuar berkata kejadian stesen radio 98.8 yang berlaku baru-baru ini merupakan satu contoh pencabulan kebebasan media yang ketara dan ini telah menunjukkan kebebasan media kini semakin sempit dan berkurangan dalam negara.

    Menurutnya lagi, kebebasan media adalah penting dalam sesebuah negara terutamanya negara Malaysia yang dikatakan mengamalkan sistem demokrasi kerana ia memberi ruang kepada warganegara untuk menyuara pandangan serta membolehkan rakyat memantau prestasi pemimpin politik yang sepatutnya mewakili kepentingan rakyat jelata, bukan kepentingan peribadi mereka.

    “Namun, kebebasan yang dimaksudkan bukanlah kebebasan seratus peratus tetapi kebebasan yang bersaing dengan tanggungjawab,” katanya.

    Maka, persoalan yang ingin dibincangkan ialah sejauh manakah tahap kebebasan media di Malaysia? Bagaimanakah pula kita melihat pengawalan dan tekanan ke atas media oleh pihak pemimpin negara telah mencabul kebebasan media?

    Ekoran daripada kes pencabulan kebebasan media ini, kempen ‘1 Muted Malaysia’ telah diadakan di Pusat Suria KLCC pada 22 Ogos dan Queensbay Mall, Pulau Pinang pada 31 Ogos 2010.
    Dalam kempen tersebut, berpuluh orang rakyat secara sukarelanya memakai topeng muka dan riben kuning serta membaca akhbar arus perdana secara terbalik sebagai tanda protes terhadap kekangan kebebasan media yang berlaku sejak kebelakangan ini.

    Kempen ‘1 Muted Malaysia’ bertujuan menunjukkan kebolehpercayaan media arus perdana terutamanya akhbar milik kerajaan tercabar.

    Namun, mengikut laporan Merdeka Review pada 3 September 2010, Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak berkata media arus perdana boleh dipercayai oleh rakyat kerana pelaporannya adalah berdasarkan maklumat rasmi yang benar berbanding dengan media alternatif yang tidak mengikut kebenaran sepenuhnya.

    Menurut Prof. Madya Dr Mustafa K. Anuar, kredibiliti adalah penting bagi mana-mana akhbar supaya pembaca tidak mengelak dari membacanya dan mengalih tumpuan kearah media alternatif.
    Beliau berkata kredibiliti akan diragui oleh orang ramai jika akhbar berkenaan tidak memberi ruang kepada pihak yang tercabar memberi responnya dan ini menunjukkan pemberitaan yang kurang adil dan tidak seimbang.

    “Kredibiliti akhbar ini tidak dapat dicapai dengan nasihat atau pujukan dari pemimpin politik negara semata-mata bahawa akhbar arus perdana boleh dipercayai rakyat,” katanya.

    Sementara itu, Pensyarah Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan USM, Dr Soon Chuan Yean berkata semua berita daripada media arus perdana dan alternatif mempunyai pandangan tersendiri dan tahap kebolehpercayaan ini terpulang kepada persepsi pembaca.

    “Oleh sebab inilah, kebebasan media adalah penting kerana kebebasan media bermaksud kehadiran satu ruang yang bebas untuk membenarkan satu isu dan informasi diperdebatkan,” katanya.
    Soon menambah sesetengah rakyat Malaysia kini bersikap dingin dan protes terhadap media arus perdana kerana medium tersebut tidak lagi menarik.
    “Oleh sebab itu, kewujudan media alternatif seperti internet, youtube, filem independen, blog dan facebook telah disambut baik oleh rakyat.

    “Pencabulan hak tahu rakyat sebenarnya tidak dapat dilakukan dengan sepenuhnya kerana rakyat akan mendapat informasi daripada media alternatif untuk membuat perbandingan selain membaca akhbar arus perdana,” katanya.

    Dalam membincangkan kebebasan media, kita juga harus melihat kepada faktor pemilikan sesebuah media oleh parti-parti politik dalam negara.

    UMNO merupakan parti terawal mengawal media. Pada tahun 1961, UMNO telah berjaya mengawal akhbar yang paling berpengaruh dalam kalangan masyarakat Melayu iaitu Utusan Malaysia dan turut membeli New Straits Times pada tahun 1972. MCA pula melalui Huaren Holdings Sdn Bhd telah membeli Star Publications Bhd pada tahun 1979 dan Nanyang Press Holdings Bhd pada 28 Mei 2001.

    Menurut ketua pengarang Merdeka Review Cheng Teck Peng, pembelian syarikat media dan akhbar oleh parti politik berkait rapat dengan kebaikan dan manfaat parti pemerintah, malah ia merupakan satu cara pihak pemerintah mengawal kebebasan bersuara media.

    Sehubungan itu, Dr Soon berkata parti politik tidak harus memiliki akhbar kerana akhbar harus dijamin kemakmuran dan kejujuran informasi tanpa campur tangan dari pihak luar.

    “Namun, jika parti politik ingin memberi pandangan mereka kepada rakyat, mereka boleh mengadakan surat khabar sendiri kerana mereka juga mempunyai kebebasan untuk bersuara,” katanya
    Sementara itu, kajian oleh Freedom House dari Amerika Syarikat sempena Hari Kebebasan Media Antarabangsa pada 3 Mei 2010 menunjukkan Malaysia berada di kedudukan ke-141 dari 196 buah negara. Hal ini menunjukkan Malaysia masih tidak mempunyai kebebasan media.

    Mengikut laporan Pertubuhan Berita Nasional Malaysia (BERNAMA) pada 17 Jun 2010, Menteri Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim menyatakan bahawa media massa dalam negara adalah bebas untuk menyiarkan pendapat dan kritikan kerana negara kini mempunyai dua juta blogger, 76 akhbar harian termasuk milik pembangkang, 151 saluran televisyen satelit, sembilan saluran televisyen tidak berbayar dan 53 saluran radio.

    “Perkembangan ini jelas menunjukkan media massa dalam negara tidak terhad seperti yang didakwa Freedom House dan ia hanyalah satu “laporan kerusi selesa”, kata Rais.

    Namun, secara realitinya kebebesan media di Malaysia tidak boleh dipisahkan dengan penggubalan undang-undang seperti Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan (PPPA) 1984, Akta Rahsia Rasmi (OSA) 1972, Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) 1960, Akta Hasutan 1948 dan Akta Multimedia dan Komunikasi 1998.

    Menurut Mustafa, undang-undang tersebut boleh menjejas profesionalisme dan etika wartawan serta perkembangan industri akhbar arus perdana pada tahap-tahap tertentu.
    “Undang-undang tersebut telah membangunkan satu gejala yang tidak sihat iaitu penapisan kendiri atau self-censorship yang keterlaluan dalam kalangan editor dan wartawan sehingga menyebabkan dalam kebanyakan hal hanya berita yang separuh benar dapat dilaporkan,” katanya.

    Di samping itu, Soon turut menambah, akta-akta tersebut harus dibawa ke Parlimen untuk didebat dan dikaji semula secara terbuka agar sesebuah akta itu menjadi matang dan adil serta dimansuh jika perlu.

    Kesimpulannya, pelbagai kejadian pencabulan media telah berlaku dalam negara selama ini. Dari kes pelucutan jawatan editor Special Weekly Joseph Seow kerana kandungan kartun dalam majalah yang menyindir Perdana Menteri Najib Razak sebagai ‘Mr.U-Turn’ sehinggalah kepada kes pengacara stesen radio 98.8 Jamaluddin yang dilucutkan jawatan telah menunjukkan bahawa pihak pemerintah begitu mengawal dan menekan media dan turut membayangkan kebebasan media yang semakin sempit dalam negara.

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Journalism must go back to the trenches, rediscover the basics

    ~ I have read this article/essay at least three times, on several occasions, but I still find it so relevant and informative. It was written or meant for Journalism students and the novice in the art. It is not an easy read as the length itself may tire you, but once you get a grasp of it, the thoughts may inspire you for life.
    ~ It did to me. 

    The author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist. He is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, he pursued a self-directed education that resulted in his leaving law school for a career in journalism. From early on, he showed no inhibitions in his criticism of Colombian and foreign politics.

    ~ Essay starts ~
    Fifty years ago, journalism schools were not fashionable. This craft was learned in newsrooms, print shops, run-down corner cafes, and at Friday night parties. Newspapers were produced in a factory-like setting, where the right training and information were provided, and views were generated in a collaborative atmosphere in which integrity was preserved. Journalists formed a tight-knit group. We shared a common life and were so fanatical about the profession that we talked of nothing else.

    The work itself fostered a group friendship that left little time for one’s private life. Although there were no editorial boards in a formal sense, at five o’clock in the afternoon, the entire staff gathered spontaneously to take a break from the tension of the day and to have coffee in any place where there was editorial activity. It was a kind of loose gathering at which there was heated discussion of the topics of each section and where the finishing touches were added to the next morning’s edition. Persons who did not learn in these 24-hour roving academies of fervent debate or those who became bored with all the talking that took place there were those who wanted or believed themselves to be journalists, but in reality were not.

    At that time, journalism fell into three broad categories: news, feature stories and editorials. The section requiring the greatest finesse and carrying the greatest prestige was the editorial section. The reporter’s job was the one that was the most undervalued, since it implied that the person doing it was a novice who had been relegated to menial tasks. Both time and the profession have demonstrated that the nervous system of journalism operates in a counterclockwise fashion; to wit: at age 19, I was the worst student in law school and began my career as a member of the editorial staff. Gradually, by dint of hard work, I made my way up, working in different sections, until I became a plain old reporter.

    The practice of this profession required a broad cultural background, which was provided by the work environment itself. Reading was a supplementary job requirement. Persons who are self-taught are usually avid and quick learners. This is particularly true of persons of my era, inasmuch as we wanted to continue to pave the way for the advancement of the best profession in the world, as we ourselves called it. Alberto Lleras Camargo, a perennial journalist who was, on two occasions, president of Colombia, was not even a high school graduate.

    The establishment of schools of journalism later on was the result of a reaction in academic circles to the fact that the profession lacked scholastic backing. At the moment, this does not apply to the print media only, but to all areas of the media that have been or will be invented.

    However, in a bid to expand, even the humble name assigned to the profession since its beginnings in the 15th century has been abandoned. It is no longer called journalism, but rather communication sciences or mass communications. Generally speaking, the results have not been encouraging. Students who graduate from academic institutions with unrealistically high expectations, with their lives ahead of them, seem to be out of touch with reality and the main problems of life in the real world, and attach greater importance to self-promotion than to the profession and innate ability. This is particularly true with respect to two key attributes: creativity and experience.

    The majority of students enter the profession with obvious deficiencies: they have serious problems with grammar and spelling and do not have an instinctive grasp of the material they read. Some take pride in the fact that they can read a secret document upside down on the desk of a minister, that they can tape casual conversations without informing the speaker, or that they can publicize a conversation that they agreed beforehand to treat as confidential. What is most disturbing is that these ethical breaches are based on a risqué view of the profession, one that has been consciously adopted and is proudly rooted in the sacrosanct importance attached to being the first to know something, at any price and above all else.

    The notion that the best news is not always the news that is obtained first, but very often is the news that is best presented, means nothing to them. Some of these persons, aware of their deficiencies, feel that they have been cheated by their universities and do not mince words when blaming their teachers for failing to instill in them the virtues that are now demanded of them, particularly curiosity regarding life itself.

    Clearly, this is a criticism that can be leveled at education in general, which has been corrupted by the plethora of schools that persist in the perverted practice of providing information rather than training. However, in the specific case of journalism, this seems to be compounded by the inability of the profession to evolve at the same pace as the tools of the trade, and by the fact that journalists are getting mired in the labyrinth created by technology as it hurtles forward. In other words, there is fierce competition among companies to acquire modern tools while they have been slow to train their staff and adopt the mechanisms that fostered team spirit in the past. Newsrooms have become aseptic laboratories where people toil in isolation, places where it seems easier to communicate via cyberspace than by touching the hearts of readers. 

    Dehumanization is spreading at an alarming pace. It is not easy to understand how technology, in all its glory, and communications, which takes place at lightning speed, things that we all hankered after in our time, have managed to hasten and exacerbate the agony associated with closing time.

    Beginners complain that editors give them three hours to complete a task that really cannot be done in fewer than six, that they ask them for material for two columns and then at the last minute give them only half a column, and that in the chaos of closing time no one has the time or the inclination to provide them with an explanation, let alone a word of consolation. “They don’t even scold us,” said a novice reporter who was anxious to receive direct feedback from his bosses. Silence reigns: the editor who was a compassionate sage in times gone by barely has the energy or the time to keep up with the punishing pace imposed by technology.

    In my view, it is the haste and restriction in terms of space that have reduced the stature of reporting, which we always considered to be the most prestigious genre, but also the one that requires more time, more research, more reflection, and superb writing skills. Reporting is, in reality, a meticulous and accurate reconstruction of facts. In other words, it is the news in its entirety, as events actually occurred, presented in a way to make the reader feel as though he actually witnessed them.

    Before the invention of teletypewriters and telexes, someone in the field of radio communications with a fanatical devotion to the profession quickly captured the world news amidst the cacophony of the air waves, and a scholarly editor prepared it, complete with details and background information, in a manner akin to the reconstruction of the entire skeleton of a dinosaur from a single vertebra. Only the interpretation of the news was off-limits, since this was considered to be the sacred preserve of the editor-in-chief, whose editorials were presumed to have been written by him, although this was not the case. In addition, the penmanship was almost always famous for its flourish. Renowned editors-in-chief had personal lino typists whose job was to decipher this handwriting.

    One significant improvement made in the past 50 years is that the news and reports are now accompanied by comments and opinions, and background information is used to enrich editorials. However, this does not seem to have achieved the best results, since this profession has never seemed more dangerous than it does now. The excessive use of quotation marks in statements, either false or true, provides an opening for innocent or deliberate mistakes, malicious distortions, and venomous misrepresentations, which give the news the force of a deadly weapon.

    Quotations from sources that are entirely credible, from persons who are generally well-informed, from senior officials who request anonymity, or from observers who know everything but are never seen, make it possible for all kinds of offences to go unpunished. The culprit erects a fortress around himself by citing his right to withhold his source, without asking himself whether he is not allowing himself to be easily exploited by that source who, in transmitting the information to him, packaged it in the manner that best suited him. I think that a bad journalist believes that he depends on his source for his livelihood, especially if it is official, and for this reason considers it to be sacrosanct, agrees with it, protects it, and ends up entering into a perilous relationship of complicity with it, which even leads him to look askance at other sources.

    Perhaps this may sound too anecdotal, but I think that there is another major culprit in this process: the recorder. Before its invention, the profession managed quite well with three tools of the trade, which, in truth and in fact, were really one: a notebook, uncompromising integrity, and a pair of ears that we, as reporters, still used to hear what was being said to us. The professional and ethical use of a recorder did not yet exist. 

    People should teach their young colleagues that a cassette is not a substitute for one’s memory, but rather, a sophisticated version of the humble notebook that provided very reliable service during the early years of the profession.

    The recorder hears but does not listen, and, like an electronic parrot, repeats but does not think. It can be depended upon but does not have a heart, and, in the final analysis, its literal rendition is not as reliable as that of the person who pays attention to the live words of his speaker, uses his intelligence to assess them, and judges them based on his ethical standards. While it does, in terms of the radio, offer the enormous advantage of providing an immediate and literal rendition of words, many interviewers do not listen to the responses provided because they are thinking about the next question. Because of the recorder, excessive and misguided importance is attached to interviews. Radio and television, by their very nature, have transformed them into the supreme genre.

    However, the print media also seems to share the mistaken view that the voice of the truth is not so much that of the journalist who witnessed an event but of the interviewee who provided a statement. In the case of many newspaper editors, transcription serves as the acid test. They confuse the sound of words, stumble on semantics, trip up on spelling, and become ensnarled in syntax. Perhaps the solution is to return to the modest notebook, so that journalists will use their intellect to edit as they listen and let the recorder occupy its rightful place as an invaluable witness. In any case, the assumption that many ethical and a host of other lapses that debase and bring shame to modern journalism do not always stem from a lack of morality, but also from a lack of professional skill, is a comforting one.

    Perhaps the shortcoming of mass communications academic programmes is that they teach many things that are useful for the profession, but very little about the profession itself. Clearly, humanities programmes should be retained, although they should be made less ambitious and rigid, in order to provide students with the cultural background that they do not receive in high school. 

    However, any kind of education should focus on three key areas: assigning priority to aptitude and vocation; establishing categorically that research is not a speciality of the profession, but rather that all journalists must, by definition, be research-oriented; and building awareness that ethical standards cannot be a product of happenstance; like the drone of a bee, they must be the constant companion of every journalist. The ultimate objective ought to be a return to the basic level of education by offering small group workshops, which provide a critical appreciation of historical experiences, within the original context of public service.

    In other words, insofar as learning is concerned, the spirit of the 5 pm get-togethers should be revived. I belong to a group of independent journalists, based in Cartagena de Indias, that is trying to achieve this throughout Latin America through a system of experimental, itinerant workshops bearing a rather lofty-sounding name: Foundation for a New Approach to Journalism in Ibero-America (Fundacion para un Nuevo Periodismo Iberomericano). This is a pilot programme geared toward journalists who are just beginning their careers. They work in one specific area-reporting, editing, radio and television interviews, and a host of others-under the guidance of a veteran of the profession.

    In response to a public announcement of the foundation, candidates are proposed by the media organisation with which they are working, and that organisation covers travel, accommodation and registration expenses. Persons must be under the age of 30, have a minimum of three years of experience, and demonstrate their aptitude and level of skill in their area of speciality by providing samples of what they consider to be their best and worst work. The duration of each workshop depends on the availability of the guest instructor, who rarely can spend longer than one week. 

    During workshops, the instructor does not attempt to provide participants with theoretical dogma and academic biases; instead he seeks, during the round table, to strengthen their skills using practical exercises, with a view to sharing with them his experience gained in practising the profession. The goal is not to teach people how to be journalists, but rather to hone the skills of those who already are, through practical exercises. No final exams or evaluations, diplomas or certificates of any kind are given. The sifting process will take place through the practical application of their skills.

    It is not easy to assess the benefits reaped thus far from a pedagogical standpoint. However, we are heartened by the growing enthusiasm of persons attending the workshops, a phenomenon that is already providing fertile ground for nonconformism and creative rebellion within the media circles of these persons, an approach that is supported, in many instances, by their boards of directors. The mere fact that 20 journalists from different countries met, over a five-day period, to discuss the profession is already a sign of their progress and of the progress of journalism.

    In the final analysis, we are not proposing a new way of teaching journalism; rather, we are seeking to revive the old way of learning it. The media would do well to support this rescue mission, either in their newsrooms or through scenarios created for that express purpose, in a manner akin to the air simulators who recreate every incident that can occur in flight so that students can learn how to avoid disaster before they actually encounter it in real life.

    Journalism is an unappeasable passion that can be assimilated and humanised only through stark confrontation with reality. No one who does not have this in his blood can comprehend its magnetic hold, which is fuelled by the unpredictability of life. No one who has not had this experience can begin to grasp the extraordinary excitement stirred by the news, the sheer elation created by the first fruits of an endeavour, and the moral devastation wreaked by failure. No one who was not born for this and is not prepared to live for this and this only can cling to a profession that is so incomprehensible and consuming, where work ends after each news run, with seeming finality, only to start afresh with even greater intensity the very next moment, not granting a moment of peace.

    (Copyright: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Courtesy: Inter-American Press Association)