‘Mission and service’ benchmarks in journalism

Extracts from, Malaysiakini’s Eric Loo | Jun 12, 08,

‘Mission and service’ benchmarks in journalism

To help gauge these benchmarks, I list below the common referents of ‘best practices’ that non-Malaysian journalists alluded to in a survey I did in 2006 for a book on ‘best practices of journalism in Asia’.

The referents range from quixotic views of crusading journalism, one that represents the plights of the disenfranchised, to the realities of investigative journalism that exposes public corruption and social injustices. ‘Best practices’ in journalism evolve when certain attributes, albeit non-exhaustive, work together, such as:

  • In-depth research and keen eye for statistical analyses.
  • Dogged determination for field interviews.
  • Penchant for the big picture ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what’ context of issues.
  • Healthy skepticism balanced by optimism with the good in people.
  • Understanding from experiencing the life of people in the stories.
  • Acknowledged obligations as a citizen first, journalist second.
  • Deep conviction that truthful stories can make a difference to society.
  • Acute sense of right and wrong.

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Widespread graft is hurting Asia’s poorest the most

Widespread graft is hurting Asia’s poorest the most

Melbourne Age * Mark Forbes, Jakarta

THE poor and vulnerable are the biggest victims of a hidden graft
epidemic across the Asia-Pacific, according to a comprehensive United
Nations study.

The report, Tackling Corruption, Transforming Lives, calls for renewed
efforts to combat corruption across the region.

It finds corruption remains common, “ranging from petty corruption to
grand corruption to ‘state capture’ — all of which erode trust in
government and business and discriminate harshly against the poor”.
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Nargis Cyclone aftermath – Hope survives

Nargis Cyclone aftermath – Hope survives

Bridget Welsh in Malaysiakini Jun 12, 08

burma nargis typhoon monsoon disaster survivor people 120608 03One story in particular struck home. After stopping at a partially destroyed Hindu temple (Hindus are a minority in the Delta) to make a small donation for its restoration, the Indian community described how the nearby local mosque (Muslims are also a minority in the Delta although larger in number) has provided donations for the community in the first few weeks after the cyclone. Minority groups crossed religious divisions to work together for survival.

There is now a sharing among both communities as donations are distributed to the residents in both villages as aid comes in. Bonds of humanity have crossed different beliefs. Similar ties were forged with the Buddhist monasteries and Christian churches where the ethnic minority Karen live.

Religious organizations have become the lifeblood of civil society in this Delta region, and have served to provide both physical and psychological support after devastating losses. Thanks to vital assistance from outside and sheer fortitude, residents in this area are moving beyond Nargis.

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Once upon a time in Burma,..there was a University known as RASU

Once upon a time, Rangoon University was known as RASU (Rangoon Arts and Science University) among all of us. RASU and RC were the famous short forms for the students from RASU as well as those were from other brother and sister Universities of Rangoon.

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Jay Leno & Zarganar (Satire)

Jun 7th, 2008

by Yebaw Day, Burma Digest



Mr. Jay Leno throwing up his hands as he surrenders to the Goverment Agents of ARMYrica

“American Comedian Jay Leno Arrested by FBI and US Army MI & Tortured in Prison !”
_ by Yebaw Day, Burma Digest Reporter via Rocket Express in Washington DC. Continue reading

Islam in China

Islam in China


US backs UN rights expert’s report on Myanmar


WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States gave its backing Tuesday to a UN expert’s report raising concerns about Myanmar’s recent referendum and called on the military rulers to release all political prisoners.

US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack also called on the country’s military rulers to uphold their pledge to give international aid access to victims of last month’s ,,, which left 133,000 dead or missing.

“The US shares the conclusions of the UN human rights monitor in his sobering report that the referendum on the regime’s draft constitution was far from credible,” McCormack said in a statement.

Washington also agrees that the continuing detention of political prisoners, including democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, and the condition under which they are held is “appalling,” he said. Continue reading

Researchers use DoD satellites to aid Myanmar relief workers

ASU turns images into tools for aid organizations working in devastated areas

By Sharon Gaudin

June 11, 2008 (Computerworld) Scientists at Arizona State University are using satellite images from the U.S. Department of Defense to aid disaster-relief efforts in Myanmar.

And now they’re also setting their sights on aiding relief efforts for earthquake victims in China.

The university’s Fulton High Performance Computing Initiative has established a Web site aimed at providing aid organizations with up-to-date satellite images of conditions on the ground in Myanmar. Dan Stanzione, director of the initiative, told Computerworld that the site provides relief workers with critical images of ground conditions in the country that recently was devastated by a cyclone. Continue reading

Aliran: The business of dialogue – Farish A Noor

Aliran: The business of dialogue – Farish A Noor

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The business of dialogue
Wednesday, 11 June 2008 17:43

In many cases, high-level inter-religious and inter-civilisational dialogue
conferences and seminars, held routinely in hotels and resorts the world
over, have become an end in themselves: a convenient meeting point for
Western elites and their third world compradore counterparts to come
together and agree upon the terms of the Washington neo-liberal consensus,
writes Farish A Noor.

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EU’s lessons for Asean

EU’s lessons for Asean

By Ong Keng Yong, For The Straits Times Singapore

THE difficulties in organising regional responses to massive natural
disasters and transboundary challenges have led many to question the
usefulness of Asean. But very few are knowledgeable about how Asean
was developed over the past 40 years.

Comparisons have been made between Asean and the European Union (EU),
usually in an unenlightened way.

Asean, it is assumed, should be like the EU, or even a mini-United
Nations. Hardly any attempt is made to understand the dynamics
underpinning Asean cooperation, compared with European integration.

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The empire of human rights

The empire of human rights

Brunei Times, Ian Buruma, NEW YORK, Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

WHY are French, British, and American warships, but not Chinese or Malaysian warships, sitting near the Myanmarese coast loaded with food and other necessities for the victims of Cyclone Nargis? Why has the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) been so slow and weak in its response to a natural calamity that ravaged one of its own members?

The French junior Human Rights Minister, Rama Yade, declared that the United Nations’ principle of the “responsibility to protect” should be applied to Myanmar, forcibly if necessary.

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