Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fun Outing this weekend!!

KL's Alternative Book Fair featuring 18 booths by 4 independent booksellers and bookshops as well as other publishing companies is ON at Central Market Annexe this weekend, May 3-4,
Sat-Sun. At the same venue, you also have cool performances by alternative bands, lots of cool artwork for very cheap (everything less than RM100) and also talks by cool people like Farish Noor (3 p.m. Sat talk on race in Msia). (darn! Too many 'cool' in that sentence!)

Anyway, some of us are going there this Sat so, if you are free and able, please join us at 11 a.m. at Central Market! More information below:

The annual World Press Freedom Day<http://worldpressfr eedomday. blogspot. com> is drawing near on May 3.

This year, the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) is organizing a two-day event inviting Malaysians to shape the road map to media freedom. If, as people say, all roads lead to Rome, what sort of direction would you, as Malaysians, want to see the media take? How dothe stakeholders, i.e media practitioners, and political leaders see the future of media freedom in Malaysia post election?

This will be a two-day get together to discuss, give input, and engage with opinion-makers on reclaiming media freedom. There will be public talks, workshop, exhibition, wall-painting, survey and activities to spell out the path(s) towards a future of media freedom. Here is the highlights of the main events:

3 May Public talk I- Towards Ethical Media
Time: 12:30- 2:00pm
Speakers: Zainon Ahmad, Jacquelin Ann Surin, Wan Hamidi Hamid
Moderator: Gayathry Venkiteswaran

The public rejection of the mainstream media (MSM), the shift towards alternative media during the elections, and the recent boycottof the MSM organized by the People's Parliament
<http://harismibrahi m.wordpress. com/> can be read as an angry response over perceived unethical and unprofessional media coverage. Most common,the complaint was around biasness and media blackout of the opposition. With the opposition currently receiving relatively more and prominentcoverage in MSM due to their big time electoral victory, does it mean that the public has no more reason to be critical of the MSM?

The discussion would take advantage of the spark already ignited to heighten the public awareness on what constitutes ethical media practices, so that participants can move beyond the awareness of biasness and media blackout and are capable of assessing both the MSM and alternative media from a broad ethical perspective. Rather than boycotting the MSM, the discussion encourages an active and discerning media user who embraces both types of media and yet critical of them.

4 May Public talk II- Towards Media and Information Law Reform
Time: 12:30-2:00pm
Speakers: YB Teo Nie Ching, Andrew Khoo Chin Hock, HR Dipendra
Moderator: Wong Chin Huat

The electoral results opened many windows of opportunity for legislativereform in the area of media and access to information. While many may think that changes at best can only happen in the opposition controlled states, the discussion attempts to impart information on various mechanisms available in introducing and pushing for nationwide legislative reform, specifically on free media and access toinformation. Participants will be also getting an idea of CIJ'scommitment to media and information law reform and lobbying work.

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