April 23, 2018
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Football Malaysia ticked off for ‘punishing’ journalists over objective, critical reporting

A Malaysian football fan holds up a banner during the AFF Suzuki Cup 2014 semi-final match at the Shah Alam Stadium, December 7, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy MayA Malaysian football fan holds up a banner during the AFF Suzuki Cup 2014 semi-final match at the Shah Alam Stadium, December 7, 2014. — Picture by Choo Choy MayKUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Journalists should not be punished for being objective and critical in the subject matter of their report, media group the Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IoJ) said today.

Following the retraction of a sports journalist’s accreditation card to cover Malaysian League events for being “overtly critical”, IoJ said the media’s responsibility is to report facts in a fair and accurate manner while cautiously presenting to readers the full picture of any given issue or story.

“There is a danger of eroding the very core of how journalists work if we are to stem their reporting with vague reasons like being ‘overtly critical’.

“Instead of immediately retracting journalist accreditation for coverage they are not pleased with, the proportionate course of action would be to raise their concerns with the relevant media organisation first,” IoJ said in a statement.

The Football Malaysia LLP (FMLLP) had reportedly revoked Four Four Two journalist Vijhay Vick accreditation card for being “overtly critical” of the League, as well as for making and sharing “misleading statements”.

“The allegations of Vijhay having made or shared misleading statements are serious ones to make. Such accusations not only have legal repercussions, but also question the very professionalism of the journalist involved,” said IoJ.

It added FMLLP should identify the specific instances of the allegations before taking such a drastic step in revoking the accreditation card.

The media group urged FMLLP to either reinstate Vijhay’s accreditation card or be transparent on the reason behind the revocation by pointing out the articles or instances in which Vijhay had allegedly misrepresented the organisation.



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