Monday, January 29, 2007

Serious Intellectual Gap

What I am going to write is not based on scientific findings or random sample.

It is based on my observation ONLY. I could be wrong. And I have been saying this over and over again…

There is a serious intellectual gap in popular content generated by the Malay media compared to the media targeting English speaking audience.

Just listen to the morning radio programmes. To be specific, programmes targeting the age groups of 17 to 35. Compare the talking points of the Malay programmes and the ones conducted in English and you will understand what I mean by analyzing the choice of subject matter, the frame of reference, the arguments and the general knowledge of the production team. It seems that the Malay world is so small and so inward looking dan berputar-putar atas issue yang sama.

And in the evening, on TV, kalau penonton Melayu, balik-balik santau, hysteria, ahli korporat hanjing, datin gila status, haruan makan anak and the talkshows still revolve around resdung, makanan seimbang, rawatan awet muda – all these dah ada masa I mula jadi broadcast journalist 15 years ago.

Sampai bila orang Melayu harus terus diperbodohkan dengan kupasan ‘extra light’ yang kononnya ada ‘human interest’ elements. WTF!!!

Bukan susah sangat to make complex ideas simple and palatable…and entertaining (inform, educate & entertain).

When I read “The Reluctant Politician – Tun Dr Ismail and His Time” by Ooi Kee Beng, I terus jadi worried for the coming generation.

In those days our ‘founding fathers’ had to draft complex social contracts and beat the orang putihs at their own game.

Today, my students and ex-students don’t even follow local current issues and understand global issues, let alone able to read between the lines cerita-cerita yang disulam in our extra ‘careful’ media.

Kalau bosan, bukak TV, bukak radio, chat, main game on the net.

And the content? Balik-balik panggil artis kat studio. Adalah jugak artis yang pandai tapi, ramai lagi bijak pandai yang cukup menghiburkan.

Oklah gua boring, gua sesuai tengok forum-forum tu… Siapa lah gua…

(Note: Pix from