Abusing professional integrity
Yeo Toon Joo, an ex senior journalist, wrote a passionate article on the role of journalists and the media during the recent national crisis when two women groups fought for leadership in Aware. Details are in www.littlespeck.com. I can understand his disgust and anger over the state of journalism here. We have perhaps the best crop of talented reporters and journalists schooled in the best universities and returned with first class honours degrees. With such able and capable talents, it is a big waste if they are not assigned to cover more meaty and worthy news than the Aware catfight. OK, I accept that this catfight may be an issue of national proportion to some. But I have my reservation on the importance of this, as Vivian has described it most appropriately, 'petty politics'. Looking across the professions, such abuses of professionalism are quite prevalent and did great harm to the professions as well as the integrity and self worth of the professionals. Many could even compromise their moral principles to deal with things that they should not be doing as an honourable individual. I don't see any pride if the whole system and machinery are harnessed to chase children wearing T shirts screaming, 'Shut up and sit down'. I don't find it funny if senior management were to take buses just to prove that the transport claim put up by his/her subordinate is $1.10 and not $1.20. I don't find it funny if nonsensical reasons were given to justify nonsensical decisions. We have not gone down this road yet. But it will be a very sad day if such things happened. I feel terribly sorry for the professionals if they were to compromise themselves and their professional integrity to do the unsavoury. I am waiting for the day when talented journalists and reporters were assigned to write about gossips of aunties and uncles, about who is sleeping with who, who wears what and eats what, or who did not brush teeth. Would that day come? If it does, it would be the reason why our journalists are unable to excel in what they do, unable to optimise their talents in creative and investigative writings on real substance and issues of great importance. But I may be wrong, as what is important or not is just a subjective personal interpretation.