One Flu Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Yep, such is my lack of good health today that I'm recycling posts from other bloggers. And why not? The debate Ong Hock Chuan has got going over at Unspun
about spin doctors manipulating the truth to the advantage of their paymaster(s) ~ or themselves ~ is an important issue here as Indonesia comes to terms with its role in a newly emergent democracy.
It seems that it is the latter group who are big on bigging themselves up.
Take that self-proclaimed expert on the internet Roy Suryo who set up SBY's site at great expense
and, no doubt, great profit to himself
. (And there's bugger all in English since April. Nice going, Roy.)Juwono Sudarsono, the Minister of Defence,
has a blog which mixes the personal ~ Hey, I'm a Grandad
~ with the public affairs we know him for. Mr. Suryo isn't happy because J.S's domain name is a dot com. So what?
I hear you cry. Is this an important issue?
Jakartass believes it is as we are all at the mercy of self-proclaimed experts who can manipulate the media to their perceived advantage.
As Ong writes, I think we are all at the mercy of these Spin Doctors because we are all victims of an uncritical and even gullible Press they feed, which clings on to the words of these charlatans. Most of the time the reporters are all so lazy or uncritical that all they do is let them speak and then quote them verbatim.
Well, thanks to blogs there is now something we can all do about it. Enda Nasution has posted a comment on What is there for AJI to celebrate on its 12th anniversary?
(AJI = the Independent Journalists Alliance) floating the idea of reviving the mediawatch.go.id project.
His thinking is that the media in Indonesia is so free that bloggers do not, like say in Malaysia, have to be the ones providing new information and perspectives to the readers out there. Rather, the role of bloggers in Indonesia, if they want to be useful to society, is to point out the weaknesses of the media. I agree and I think if we bloggers get together we could collectively help shame them into improving themselves.
I think the role of bloggers here should be wider, to educate, inform and, if appropriate, to campaign. But do count me in Ong and Enda, but remember that we're only taking small steps here compared to, say, Reuters who have been manipulating the world's press in their coverage of the bombing of Beirut