Politicians and the Media

During the past year I have noticed that Politicians have ‘attacked’ the Media about various stuffs. And to defend itself, the Media speaks of violation of the freedom of expression, freedom of speech. This ‘war’ between the media and the politicians has been going on for a long time but has been taken up another level with the introduction of the three private radios.

In my opinion, the journalists here in Mauritius do not really behave as good journalists should. And the verbal assault they are subject to by politicians  is kind of justified. It is very apparent which political party is supported by the l’express newspaper. The same for the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Radio Plus and Radio One. Most of these media parties take sides when there is a certain political issue going on.

Is that the way the Media should operate? Obviously the answer is No.

The main aim of the Media is to report to the general public. To inform the people and to present the *facts* as they are! To ask the right questions, the questions being asked by the population. However, when the journalists write, they tend to give their own *opinions* on the different matters and most of the time distorting the truth, whatever the truth may be. This in turn trigger the animosity of the politicians, who have their speeches dissected and presented in the wrong light.

So in my opinion, it is high time journalists and the media sphere as a whole wear their political colors in private and adopt the role of the true informer, without trying to guide people to think in a specific way. Leave it to each individual to make up their own mind. The Mauritian People are intelligent enough.

The Media should just be a good and reliable information provider.

P.S: Guiblog asked on my previous post why people are afraid to see journalists having their own blogs. Well I for one ain’t afraid! I’m sure yashvin from yashvinblogs is not afraid as well. As a matter of fact, journalists can use their blogs to express those personal opinions they have and leave the press or TV to do its real job. 🙂

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16 thoughts on “Politicians and the Media

  1. Op op op op
    1. l’express does not support the MMM! 1st JCDL was the potential President of Navin in 2000 and he was named by the same Navin as the president of the Empowerment Programme … also the editorial line of l’express is Pro-Sithanen (dunno if you read them often … I do and they are so pro-Sithanen)

    This distorted notion comes from 2 sources:
    1 l’express denounced the communal campaign of 2005 (Choonee par e.g. ti dir match Dodo vs Fire-Cadets-Scouts, Bahadoor:”tir manger depi la bouche zenfan ZEP” … and the editor was angry with these comments …)
    2 Kan PTr fanne, zot finn ecrir ek Navin sauter lerla e.g. Aston Martin, “fuites” dans reservoir, MGI lecture of SSR by JBD …

    Secondly dear, in a democracy, you have the right to be biased. You have the right to have a political paper like Le Militant and Mauritius Times. However, e.g. for the MBC, when it is funded by public money, then it’s got to be as impartial as the BBC is in the UK.

    Good post btw 😉

    • I didn’t have to say l’express support the MMM. You came up with that all by yourself. 😛 And surely others who have read has thought of that too.

      The discussion here however is not about which parties are being supported by the different newspapers. Thing is, none of these newspapers should be associated with those parties. They should be impartial.

      If the parties want to use the press, they can have newsletters or a newspaper which makes it clear that it belongs to such and such parties. Perhaps the reason it is not done is because people won’t buy?

      • In the UK many political parties are subtlety and less subtlety supported by newspapers and nobody complain. We are in a democracy and there is no reason why it should not be that same. However, things are different for the MBC: they are funded by a public license fee and they MUST be impartial. But for private newspapers, they can do whatever they want … it’s up to you to decide to buy them or not.

        I did not have any problem that l’express criticized the communal stance of AS in 2005, nor that Le Matinal chose to support l’AS … I can read both and I’m intelligent enough not to be brainwashed by them. 😛

  2. Je me permets de reproduire une réponse à un commentaire de Bruno sur mon blog:

    “C’est vrai que nous avons tous droit à notre opinion politique personnelle. D’ailleurs, c’est ce qui nous aide à formuler notre choix lors des élections. Ce choix politique, nous le formulons à partir de ce que nous apprenons des médias et autres sources. Toutefois, ces informations que nous recevons doivent être formulées de telle façon à nous AIDER à formuler un choix. Lorsqu’un message nous est matelé/imposé, cela équivaut à un lavage de cerveau. Et ça, c’est le rôle des politiques, pas des médias.”

    Sur ce point, je partage à 100% l’avis d’aniisah. Par contre, il faut rajouter qu’il y a plusieurs écoles de pensées. En Angleterre par exemple, à la veille des élections, il est courant de voir certains journaux prendre position directement pour un parti, en appelant ses lecteurs à voter dans cette direction. Cette position est argumentée, défendue dans le journal. Mais encore une fois, on se rapproche de la lecture plus haut, car le journal finalement ne donne que des pistes de reflexion. Le choix final appartient à l’électeur. Le journal encourage, mais n’impose pas.

    Le problème, c’est qu’à Maurice, nous votons comme nous supportons des équipes de foot (d’où mon poste sur le politico-football). Notre choix électoral est basé SANS réflexion rationelle sur les programmes, projets de lois etc. Alors forcément, si je suis supporteur de Liverpool et qu’un journal flatte les prouesses de Manchester United, arrivé un moment j’en aurai marre. Par extension, si un journal démontre les faiblesses ou les forces d’un parti, les supporteurs de l’autre parti le lira comme de la propagande. Tout n’est que noir ou blanc à Maurice, le concept du gris n’existe pas.

    Mais là où je rejoins à nouveau la lecture d’aniisah, et comme je l’ai déjà dit ailleurs, le journalisme n’est pas un corps homogène. Comme dans toute profession, il comporte aussi une (bonne) dose d’incompétents.

    • “…Toutefois, ces informations que nous recevons doivent être formulées de telle façon à nous AIDER à formuler un choix. Lorsqu’un message nous est matelé/imposé, cela équivaut à un lavage de cerveau. Et ça, c’est le rôle des politiques, pas des médias.”” <— Je suis heureuse qu'il y a d'autres gens qui partagent cet avis. 🙂

  3. Annisah, bon courage parce que tu vas certainement pas aimé les réactions sur cet article.

    NON, j’ai pas peur des journalistes, et en aucun cas, ils pourront prendre la place des bloggeurs, tout simplement parce qu’il sont des journalistes. La majorité des bloggueurs ne sont pas des professionnels et ne souhaitent pas l’être.
    Du moins pour moi, je veux garder cet activité comme un loisir, et non pas comme un espace professionnel.

    Aller, a bientôt!

    Vive le blogging et vive yashvinblogs.com qui fete ses 3 ans aujourdhui!

    • En tout cas, on ne fait pas mieux au niveau du narcicisme… Même Mussolini serait complexé!

      Je pense que t’as pas tout compris à ce qu’on a dit avant: je partage à 100% l’avis d’aniisah.

    • Happy Anniversary to your blog Yashvin.

      Les journalistes peuvent avoir leur blogs. But to make it their professional medium is not a good idea, I agree.

      I blog for the pleasure of it too. and yeah, I want to keep it that way! 😛

  4. “In my opinion, the journalists here in Mauritius do not really behave as good journalists should. And the verbal assault they are subject to by politicians is kind of justified”..

    Tu rigoles ou quoi. Il ne faut pas mettre tous les journalistes dans le même panier.Certains groupes de presse investissent dans la formations de journalistes. Ce n’est malheureusement pas le cas de tous.

    Si tu penses que les insultes à l’encontre des journalistes sont justifiées, c’est ton droit…

    • Tant mieux s’il y en a qui sont bien formes. On attend d’autres encore. Et j’espere qu’on trouvera un changement dans la maniere d’ecrire bientot! 😛

  5. @Bruno: If it’s UK, then it’s OK? It should be a shame that the press is such there. And maybe the English people don’t care. And besides, stop comparing Mauritius to other countries. We are a different people and our cultures differ! Focus here.

    It is good that you are intelligent enough not to be confused and annoyed by certain press publications. However, we are not all the same. The Media has been set up to operate in such a way, so that it can benefit the society as a whole. It is sad to see that the Media not sticking to its primary aim!

    • We do not have the same vision of what media should be. Anyway Mauritius is a liberal democracy and the media can take sides, like in any liberal democracy. I have no problem with that! Impartiality is ridiculous some times: can you be impartial when some politicians start making communal statements? Can you be impartial in the Israelo-Palestitian massacre? In the Darfur massacre?

      In Mauritius, some politicians did cross the acceptable line and it is normal for journalists to take sides against them. However, what is not acceptable is the tirade of a head of state … enfin Prime Minister … cause the President is not the most important position in Mauritius.

      Actually I like this diversity of the Press, the l’express being independent (ziss Navin ek so die hard acolytes ki pas trouv ca), Week-End being pro-MMM, Le Matinal being pro Labour … 😀 Ca prouve ke notre democratie est en bonne sante.

    • Euh Aniisha, you said “It is good that you are intelligent enough not to be confused and annoyed by certain press publications. However, we are not all the same. ” :S Are you arguing that there are many idiots in Mauritius? O.o Clarify this point please!

      • Nopes not at all. but some newspapers do publish articles that are soooo meant for brain-washing. and people get influenced.

        Anyway Bruno, I won’t discuss this any further with you. You’ve made your point clear and I have made mine. 🙂

      • @Aniisah: The people you mentioned get influenced because they choose to believe what is said in “reunions privées” or ’embas la boutique” before reading what’s in the news (then again, not to be generalised). The articles they are confronted to, however subjective or objective, merely helps to reinforce what they had in mind.

        Do not get swayed by politicians who hold the media responsible for their situation; these same politicians congratulate us when it suits them. And it’s not to be taken as a compliment when a politician congratulates you as a journalist.

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