The uphill battle of being a neutral newspaper

13 Jul 2023 03:01pm
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An open letter to leaders and Malaysians

Assalamualaikum and greetings to all.

I am writing this letter to address all members of the public and leaders who love this nation, who have fought for press freedom and longed for political maturity in Malaysia.

Sinar Harian has recently come under attack with numerous accusations claiming it supports certain political parties.

Even the founder, Datuk Hussamuddin Yaacub, was once accused of being a writer for Harakah.

Various negative perceptions and accusations have been made to undermine the credibility of Sinar Harian, suggesting that it produces news with a bias towards a particular leader or political party.

Initially, we intended to remain silent on this issue, but due to the constant harassment and attacks we face, Sinar Harian has decided to step forward and clarify who we are.

Who are we?

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We have been previously accused of being a media outlet supporting PKR and DAP, and shortly after, we were accused of becoming a Pas paper. Some days, we are labelled as Umno paper, and now there are claims that we have become media for Bersatu and Perikatan Nasional.

Throughout our 17 years in the media industry, we have been bombarded with various titles and accusations.

These labels arose because, since the establishment of Sinar Harian, we have been the only paper that does not favour any political party.

In our endeavor for free media, we represent the voice of the people and have always supported the nation.

This is the DNA of Sinar Harian ingrained in our employees.

That is why news and articles in Sinar Harian cover a wide range of political parties, and our online platform programmes are open to all leaders.

We do not exhibit bias.

You can discuss and express your opinions through our platforms, such as Wacana, TownHall Rakyat, Sinar Live, and others.

We welcome and celebrate diverse opinions because Sinar aims to foster a new political culture based on arguing and debating with facts and civility, rather than resorting to insults.

To celebrate the freedom of the press without bias, we provide opportunities for leaders from all parties to contribute articles and become columnists.

Some of the political leaders who have collaborated with Sinar include former Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, Bangi MP (DAP) Syahredzan Johan, Muar MP (Muda) Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Indera Mahkota MP (Bersatu) Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah, and PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar.

Maintaining neutrality amid challenges

Being a neutral paper like Sinar Harian is not easy. We do not have a specific paymaster.

We are not a government-owned media outlet that receives yearly allocations and funds.

Our income depends on advertisements and newspaper sales.

Online articles may have premium paywalls.

Therefore, we receive advertisements from various parties, including corporate companies, government agencies, and political parties.

We do not receive advertisements from any political party, and these advertisements do not influence Sinar Harian's editorial decisions.

Regardless of the accusations thrown at us, I guarantee that Sinar Harian will remain neutral.

The instructions given to the editorial team are clear: not to take sides, act fairly towards all, avoid spinning stories, and report honestly and truthfully.

We will continue to accept paid advertisements from all political parties as long as they do not slander or accuse any Opposition party.

We provide a platform for all parties, whether government or the Opposition.

Thank you to all who have supported Sinar Harian.


Editor-in-Chief, Sinar Harian

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