By Anthony Joseph
It is no wonder blogs had significant impact in the last elections: Lee
MIRI: Blogging has becoming a craze among politicians in this country since the last general elections, for it has been found that it could make or break their election results.
“There is increasing interest among politicians to take a serious look into this new phenomenon,” says Assistant Minister of Infrastructure Development and Communication Lee Kim Shin who was one of participants of a workshop on ‘New Media’ that was held at the Curtin University of Technology campus here yesterday.
Australian Journalism Review reports a staggering 60 million blogs as of May this year, with Malaysia alone contributing to nearly a million, of which nearly 60 per cent are political blogs.
“It means that over half a million views are circulating among millions of readers in the country and the world. It is no wonder that blogs had significant impact on the last elections,” he added.
Lee said with this rise in number comes the rise in audience size and political influence, and with this rise, comes the issue of responsibility and accountability of bloggers towards the law, the country and the people.
Pointing out that the phenomenon was both exciting and worrisome, Lee who is also Senadin assemblyman, said blogging was akin to a speedway where people tended to be reactionary and expressive.
Therefore, the responsibilities that come with the thrill to freely express can’t be ignored, said Lee.
Bloggers must therefore be responsible in saying the truth and projecting rational opinion for the good of the nation.
They must also be responsible to mobilise the public to think critically and act intelligently, and to shun personal attack.
They were also reminded not to incite the public for petty self-satisfaction and to respect democratic and interactive nature of blog.
“Empirical studies have shown that when people express themselves freely, and publicise their opinions, they do not always unite,” says Lee, adding that the strength of blog was its uncensored and unrestricted nature, which was also its greatest weakness.
Lee together with Pujut assemblyman Andy Chia and political secretary to Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Sebastian Ting were among participants of the
workshop, which was conducted by Sean Ang – programme manager for SEACEM and the Earth247.tv, and Rachel Chan – programme administrator and web editor of SEACEM.
Both trainers have conducted workshops for Malaysiakini.tv, Mindanews, Earth247.tv, Amnesty International, Bernama News International, Centre for Policy Initiative, Sisters in Islam, Tenaganita and Mizzima TV.
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