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1.

WHAT

IS

YOUR

OPINION

REGARDING

SELF-CENSORSHIP

IN

JOURNALISM?
Self-censorship in journalism can help distribution of information process
According Nicholas Cheng, a nation journalist in Malaysia said that self-censorship in
journalism can prominently help the distribution of information process. Each writers
or journalists need to know the breaking point and practice self-censorship but
remind to yourself to not obey the journalism ethics.
He said:
In all honesty, I do not support self-censorship but as a journalist and a writer I do
see the need of self-censorship in journalism. It is more of a love hate relationship to
put in brief. Although the practice of self-censorship can greatly help the distribution
of information process, every journalists/writers need to know the limit. Practice selfcensorship all you want but remind yourself to not obey the journalism ethics.

Self-censorship in journalism may cause problems and offend someone


According to Zahratulhayat Mat Arif, a crime reporter from News Straits Time
newspaper stated that self-censorship in journalism is a choice not to compose or tell
something because it may bring about issues and affront someone. Journalists' part
is not exclusively gathering information but also selecting the data in view of reliable,
moral and professional standards.
She said:
Self-censorship is a common place in the news media today. It's a decision not to
write or tell something because it might cause problems and offend someone.
Journalists' role is not solely collecting information but also selecting the information
based on logical, ethical and professional standards. However, I believe in this
country we have avoided newsworthy stories while nearly as many acknowledged
they have softened the tone of the stories to benefit the interests of the news
organizations.

Without self-censorship would leads to confusion and doubt to believe the


information
According to Datuk Ahirudin Attan or known as Rocky Bru, a former journalist of
News Straits Time, he said that without self-censorship journalist and writers would
have similar situation as current social media nowadays that leads to confusion and
causes the readers to doubt which information is to be believe.
He said:
As a journalist with an experience of 30 years, it is not possible for journalism to
exist in the credible structured form that we know. Without self-censorship we would
have situation similar to current social media now. It contains infinite amount of
information which might leads to confusion and causes you to doubt which
information is to be believe. As a quick example, the messaging application called,
Whatsapp, information are always being spread in matter of minutes and you can
see an argument happen in the on-going conversation. Usually it is because an
individual who sums up amount of assumptions or information regarding an issue
which are not verified or filtered. Most of it is articles that are being publish based on
an individual perspective. This causes confusion among the public. So without selfcensorship in journalism might cause the same effect as it did in the social media.
The public would probably doubt the information that is given because they are not
sure on which statement is true and what not.

Journalist should tell the truth to the readers


According to Jahabar bin Sidek, he said that every journalist should not apply selfcensorship because their job is to tell the truth to the readers. The journalist are not
allowed to suppressed nor hide any information or data regarding an issue. He also
said that self-censorship is not a go practice for a journalist.
He said:
I believe that every journalist should not apply self-censorship because their job is
basically to tell the truth to the readers. They are only required to tell the truth and
the facts that they have. The task of a journalist is to gather all the information that is
provided and present it to their readers. You are not allowed to suppressed nor hide
any information regarding an issue because that is not your job. I strongly believe
that self-censorship is not a very go practice for a journalist because anybody who
censors information or suppress information, you are no longer considered as a
journalist. This is due to the fact that a journalist is a person who are required to gain
information and also to spread or give the truth to the readers and not allowed to
hide things from them.

Self-censorship is crucial for journalist to write any news


According to Madam Noor Ashmalia Mohd Ahsraff, Journalism lecturer in UiTM Alor
Gajah, Melaka said that self-censorship is an unconscious thought of a journalist in
writing a news and it is crucial for every journalist to aware before writing an issues.
She said:
Self-censorship is an unconscious thought of a journalist in writing a news. Actually,
self-censorship is crucial so every journalist will beware before writing a news.
However, as for me I think what is the use you becoming a journalist if you cannot
write what you feel or support.

Self-censorship comes naturally in every journalist or writers


According to Sir Abdul Latiff, a former journalist and also a lecturer in UiTM Alor
Gajah, Melaka stated that self-censorship will naturally come in every journalist or
writers before write any news. Self-censorship means the journalist limit themselves
when write any issues based on the attitude and principle of the news agency.
He said:
Self-censorship exist around the globe. Self-censorship will naturally come in every
single journalist and writers before they write an issue. The factors that determine
self-censorship are their mind, the values of Malay people and values of Islam, their
guidance, political stand and their culture. Why become self-censorship? This is
because the principle and attitudes of the news agency itself, your upbringing, your
lifestyle, your surroundings and most crucial part is the culture in the news
organization. All of this determine the self-censorship in journalism. The journalist
bound themselves when publish any news based on these factors.

Conclusion Remark
Based on the research question that had been given to respondent which is the
opinion of the informants about self-censorship in journalism, most of the
respondents think that self-censorship needs to occur in journalism when writing an
issues. This is because self-censorship can avoid any confusion and doubt in
believing the news. According to Society of Professional Journalists (2009), people
must be well informed in order to make decisions regarding their lives, and their local
and national communities. It is the role of journalists to provide this information in an
accurate, comprehensive, timely and understandable manner.

Poll question from twitter

In your opinion, can self-censorship joepardize the credibility of journalism?

Yes

31%

No

69%

For the poll question that the researcher conducted at the social media, Twitter,
researcher managed to get 188 votes from the users of Twitter. 69% of the Twitter
users vote yes for the poll meanwhile 31% of the users vote no. This is because they
believe self-censorship can risk the credibility of journalism. Most of them have the
same thought that every journalist or writers should tell the readers all the
information or data regarding an issues and reveal it to the public especially the
victims.

CONCLUSION

This small exploration of self-censorship has sought to probe a little way into
the question of why self-censorship is crucial for every journalist to write and publish
any issues or news. The research also discover the true meaning of self-censorship
in journalism. Self-censorship concentrated on the constraints imposed by the
natural urge to conform to social norms, rather than discussing at length the fear of
the consequences that might arise, both from the law and from unrestrained exercise
of state power, if they do speak out.
Despite all of these difficulties there are positive signs. Journalists and editors
are increasingly vocal in their demands for urgent change and for actions to
strengthen media freedom, ethical journalism and responsible use of information.
With this in mind, the government should urges media professional groups to
build a new partnership and to promote a national dialogue within journalism to
promote editorial independence and press freedom at all levels. This dialogue should
address the crisis of political interference and the impact of excessive
commercialization of media. Thus end this conclusion.