Malaysia’s Center for Independent Journalism slammed Malaysian journalists who “overstepped their ethical and professional boundaries,” and possibly “abused their position” as journalists, the group wrote in a statement.
The Center identifies itself as a “non-profit organisation that aspires for a society that is democratic, just and free where all peoples will enjoy free media and the freedom to express, seek, and impart information.”
According to the group, the journalists in question were reporting on a “police raid on a suspected vice den” and “a few journalists” photographed “women who were caught in various states of undress.”
Doing so violated the “fundamental journalistic principle – to minimise harm” added the Center for Independent Journalism statement, which also called out the unnamed journalists for “sensationalist, gutter journalism,” .
The Center for Independent Journalism also noted that in a previous police case, “journalists were practically stopped from doing their work,” yet in this case, the police let journalists cross the line in reporting.
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We’ve written to the Center for Independent Journalism for more information, including why it didn’t name the journalists, and will update with any response.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Insider reported that the country’s National Union of Journalists’ secretary-general discussed with the Human Rights Commission the relationship between police and journalists, saying that “policemen should not cause physical injuries on journalists.”
According to the secretary-general, Anbalagan Veerasamy, a dozen Malaysian journalists claim”they were assaulted by policemen during Bersih 3.0,” a rally. Veerasamy suggested the police were trying to “delete all evidence of them (police) committing violence during the rally.” However, police argued that journalists violated war-zone guidelines by being “between authorities and rally participants.” Veerasamy countered that the rally “was equivalant to a warzone,” Malaysian alternative news site Malaysiakini reported. The New York Times has more background on the incident in a May report.
We wrote in April when Malaysia’s prime minister Datuk Seri Najib said he backed media self-regulation through a press council and ethics code.