Tag Archives: homosexuality

Pick and choose journalism

Pick and choose journalism. That’s what I wrote about today in my column at The Malaysian Insider.

Pick and choose journalism
By Zan Azlee

MAY 20 — Last week, a Los Angeles-based radio show picked up a video news package I did for the Dutch news agency VJ Movement. The story was about being gay and Muslim in Malaysia and it was apt that This Way Out ran the story since they serve the gay community. I was obviously excited since it meant that I am now a celebrity in LA and can expect to be signing autographs in Hollywood soon. But the excitement fizzled when I actually listened to the show. My entire story was intact except for the interview with JAKIM director-general, Datuk Wan Mohamed.

I had interviewed different people with liberal and conservative view points and Datuk Wan Mohamed, of course, was of the latter. His voice may have been more conservative than the rest, but it was equally as important since I wanted to show both sides of the story for better context. This Way Out’s producers must have taken it out because it didn’t support their agenda and this brings me to my issue of the day – pick and choose journalism. (Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider)

Does constraints in journalism mean we have to editorialise?

Recently, a gay-oriented radio programme out of Los Angeles, California, called This Way Out, picked up on my video news package ‘Being Gay and Muslim in Malaysia‘, which I did for the news agency VJ Movement. Since it was a radio show, they only took the audio from my story. Of course I was delighted that I was now a celebrity in LA!

However, When I listened to the show (click here to listen to the radio show), I noticed that they had edited out the interview with JAKIM Director-General, Datuk Wan Mohamed. His voice may have been more conservative than the rest of my interviewees, but it was equally as important since I wanted to show both sides of the story and his interview definitely contextualised things better (Click here or on the image below to view my video in it’s entirety).

So I wrote an e-mail to the producers. I received a prompt reply from her, “… I actually did try recording the subtitles to mix into the piece. Unfortunately, especially since I was working alone with no male voice to use, I just couldn’t get it to sound right … it was just more confusing. I was also facing the problem that I needed to shrink the piece a bit to make it fit into our program. The time constraints made the parts with my sadly ineffective attempt to add the translation the most likely (although ultimately not the only) things to be cut — despite the fact that I realized that the government point of view provided important context. You’ve probably faced similar situations, when you have to reluctantly lose material that’s important to a story. I appreciate your understanding…”

It could have been due to constraints or it could have just been plain editorialising.

Click to view my original video in it's entirety.

Here’s my blog entry at Fatbidin.com about my article at The Malaysian Insider about my video on VJ Movement!!

Here’s my blog entry at Fatbidin.com about my article at The Malaysian Insider about my video on VJ Movement!! Cross-promotion!! Hahaha!!

How to be gay and Muslim at the same time
By Zan Azlee

APRIL 15 — Recently, I was commissioned to produce a video news package for VJ Movement, a Dutch-based news agency focusing on solo-journalism. It was about a matter that had intrigued me for some time now and this was the opportunity for me to explore it — homosexuality in Islam.

And so, I decided that I would interview a slew of people to get as many different opinions on the matter. I met a Malay Muslim gay man who was willing to speak to me about this issue. However, he requested anonymity, fearing backlash. [Click to read the rest of the article at The Malaysian Insider]

Being gay and Muslim in Malaysia

Recently, I did a video package for VJ Movement, a Dutch-based news agency of which I am a videojournalist for, about being gay and Muslim in Malaysia. I spoke to several people to get their opinions, namely, Datuk Haji Wan Mohamed (the Director General of JAKIM), Pang Khee Teik (sexual rights activist and Arts Programme Director of The Annexe Gallery), Nizam Bashir (syariah lawyer) and ‘Ahmad’.

Click on the image to view the video.

Go spread the word (or embed the video!). Thanks to everyone who voted for my pitch to be produced and also to Pang Khee Teik and the other individuals who were willing to speak to me for this story.

Vote for my pitch: A video story about being gay in Malaysia

As most of you are probably aware, I’m a videojournalist for VJ Movement, a Dutch-based videojournalism news agency. I like being a part of it since it is very democratic in nature in the sense that all story ideas are voted for by the public and also by an editorial team before it is approved and given funding to be made. So far, I’ve pitched one idea and was given the opportunity to produce it last year. It is entitled “WHAT’S IN A NAME? ‘ALLAH’ STIRS CONTROVERSY IN MALAYSIA”.

[Click to view the video]

Well, I’ve just made another pitch entitled “I’M GAY AND I’M OKAY”. Basically, my pitch is: “Recently, a Malay-Muslim man declared being gay & okay in a video campaign called ‘I’m Gay & I’m Okay’. He was attacked in the Malaysian media & people have even called for the religious authorities to take action. Gay life in Malaysia is complex with conflicts between religion & modern progression. There is an unspoken policy of don’t ask don’t tell, until the said incident. I will follow a gay couple and observe their daily lives. I will also talk to activists, religious leaders, government reps & the public. The objective of the story is to gain insight from the perspective of gay Muslims.”.

If you guys think this is a story worth telling, I would appreciate it much if you all could go to the site and vote for it. [Click here to vote]

Thanks and Kong Hei Fatt Choy!!