An ostrich, a talkshow guest or RM12 million… which is more important?
By Zan Azlee
Last week was a very interesting week for content coming out in the local news front. Well, it’s interesting for me as an observer anyway.
The first piece of news that would probably still be stuck in many Malaysians’ minds would be of Chickaboo, the ostrich that was caught on video running along the Federal Highway.
BFM Radio’s Jeff Sandhu (the tech guy!) was conveniently driving along the highway on 16th June when he saw the ostrich running along the highway and he managed to record a video.
Of course, the video went viral and all the news organisations started picking it up and reporting about it. The ostrich was rescued and is now safely in it’s owner’s care in Semenyih.
I can understand how a story like this can go viral. It’s definitely bizarre (one of the 8 main elements for newsworthiness evaluation, mind you!) and very funny.
The second was that former prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad, while campaigning for the opposition on 17th June, mentioned he was axed from the talkshow Obviously Harith Iskander.
Tun Mahathir claimed the authorities cancelled his planned appearance on the show, which airs on Astro AWANI, after seeing a leaked a teaser of him and Harith in a car was leaked online.
But come on everyone. Are we surprised at all that the authorities would want to interfere in the freedom of the media here in Malaysia?
Weren’t we all just shocked by the revelation made by the former New Straits Times group editor Mustapha Kamil recently? Yeah, shocked I’m sure.
The third piece of news was the issue with the RM12 million collected by family members of the hostages taken by armed men allegedly of the Abu Sayyaf in Sabah waters.
The money was raised through public donations, selling of assets by the families and contribution by the employers of the hostages. It was handed to the Malaysian police.
Is the Malaysian government now abandoning negotiations and have set a precedence of paying ransom to terrorists in exchange for hostages?
The government initially denied a ransom was paid. But then home minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the money was in fact given to Filipino welfare organisations.
The inspector general of police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has since denied totally that a ransom was paid by the Malaysian government in securing the release of the hostages.
The four hostages were released on 8th June by the armed men and are now safely back in Malaysia and with their families.
And now for the punchline of the article which I hope you readers can provide.
Which of the above piece of news was given the most coverage by the news organisations and being discussed or shared by the public?
And, which piece of news do you actually think is the most important news that the news organisations should spend their efforts on developing further?