Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Head-banging Session

Now, before anyone gets the wrong idea already, no, the title does not suggest that the session I am referring to has anything to do with Ecstacy or any designer drugs. Though, if I ever do get to know any of the pushers, I would get them to peddle their business in PWTC come this December. I know it does seem a cruel idea for me to ask the pushers to do so, most especially when you take into account that during that month, PWTC will be filled with people who will be nodding their heads endlessly and perhaps more vigorously than Ecstacy takers themselves. But then, who knows, perhaps we might get the pushers to realise their wrongdoing and 'taubat', upon looking at those 'sarkas' people in PWTC.

Anyway, insyAllah this Monday, I will be attending a Brainstorming session with some news-people in KL. I do not know whether I should mention this, but since no one said I can't, I thought it would be a good idea to put it to my friends and bring the feedback to the session. After all, the whole idea of the session is to attract more readers.

I should feel fortunate to be invited to this Brainstorming session by Harakah. Though I have been active with them for the past 4 years, I was always looked upon as an outsider. It was only till quite recently that several of the people there come to recognise the little contribution I have made, and allowing me to voice out my opinion.

In view of the PRU12 results and the huge gain made by Pakatan Rakyat, Harakah is now looking at ways to improve and gain more readers in order to get the message of PR, particularly PAS, to the public. In other words, Harakah is looking to expand beyond the public's conception of it being merely a PAS news organ; it wants to step out of that mould and make itself more accessible to the public.

One would be surprised, as I was, that much prior to PRU12, there were people, Malays at that, who were afraid even to touch what else read, Harakah! To these people, Harakah was like something totally alien and to be avoided at all cost! This mindset was, undoubtedly, ingrained in them by those 'sarkas' people via RadioTV Sarkas and Media Sarkas Network, as well as Berita Sarkas and Utusan Sarkas. It is this mindset which Harakah harbour hopes to break and I, on their behalf, would be grateful if my friends here can give their thoughts to.

Before putting in your thoughts though, please take into accounts that though Harakah does provide free news through, it still need to generate income in order to give better news coverage. Currently, its main source of income is through the sale of Harakah tabloid which is published twice a month as forced onto it by those same Sarkas people.

On Harakah's behalf, I thank you in advance. But please, in whatever you do in wanting to give out your thoughts and ideas, do not go banging your head at any solid object :)


puteri nad said...

aha, good for you bro!
like, this is the chance everyone's been waiting for..u can make a change!! imagine that..

and why bother selling to them when they themselves are the ringleaders.hiks

last note,
congratulation again ;-)

mOEha Aziz said...

salam shah,

i'm so honoured. thank you. i might not be able to produce useable ideas yet, i'll try.

first and foremost try a softer approach. maybe a softer and interesting headlines. Allah wanted us to read alBaqarah, not mainly because of the Jews, yet the name has made the arab curious to know why it is called alBaqarah.

Then y not try to avoid sensational stories that might b true yet still need to be proven. people are beginning to feel disgusted with this sensational news. they will b discouraged. do not show hatred or anger on papers. as we all know, the mainstream media plays this game.

Then, try to wider the scope. mayb put sport sections and a bit of entertainment in, this is a very gud wislah(weapon) or tactics in trying to get their support. we must gain their trust 1st. are we not.

then, try to put less stories on how bad the government is, how good the BA is, put more stories on PAS' plan for rakyat, without condemning anybody. some of the people feel that harakah does not represent them. make them understand that harakah is representing them.

then, y not give credits to any good things that the government has done to the people? i will b impressed if any oppositions news are giving credits to their opponent.

finally, produce more globalised news. if we want to secure the people's trust. do it with love. honey caught more flies than vinegar kan?

all the best to the head banging session this coming monday. all the best to harakah.

Zawi said...

Since Harakah is published twice a month, a copy can be circulated among many readers. I read Harakah from the copy thats left in my mosque. Being bimonthly, any news are stale news. Those Ameno people will not allow Harakah to publish daily due to its fear that Harakah may compete with their own MSM. Hopefully Pak Lah will soften up and allow Harakah to be published daily and help to contribute much needed revenue.
Try to get Harakah Daily to be given permission to be subscribed as a cyber news like Malaysiakini and readers must subscribe to it. I subcribe to Malaysiakini just to get the latest news and also because it is in English which is my preferred language. If Harakah Daily can do the same I will be switching to Harakah Daily imediately.
Moeha Aziz said it right that the content must be on a broader subject to attract a broader spectrum of readers. A softer stance like Malaysiakini is definitely a better approach. Let the readers decide how to evaluate a certain news to be treated as the truth or just a make believe.
Thats my two cents worth of ideas or opinion for a start.

Snowflake said...

A very soothing piece. Congratulation!
One thing, never ever get affected with the Sarkas people, (it's a waste of time). Try and look at a different angle, there's always an 'act of God' around us. It's just that people not realizing it.
Emm... all the best to you for your session.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Is it going to be a daily?
1. Letters from readers.
2. Classified ads
3. Karam Singh Walia type of expose section.
4. Sports and the stuff
5. Harakah is not anti decent entertainment.
6. Local and international
7. Medical pullouts
I'll add more when I can think of some more

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

ahh, correct me if i'm wrong but you'll be attached with Harakah now huh? so proud of myself to have a friend like you, my man.

but unfortunately i cant provide any idea la shah. to me the online version is good enough to counter all the shits tv3 been feeding, but as you mentioned they still need to generate more income for better and wider coverage. maybe they should appeal to the gomen to at least let harakah to be published weekly.

jaflam said...

wSalam Shah,

Hope the following comments will be helpful for your Monday BSS.

1. The PRU 12 result has changed the Malaysian political landscape and rakyat mindset in a big way. Therefore it demands the political players to re-examine positions and strategy to be inline with the current and future expectations of the rakyat. The losers have no option but to reinvent themselves to be relevant and the winners have no time to be snobbish but to work hard to deliver their promises and to review and reinvent themselves in a big way to be continuously accepted by the people they represent and strategically positioned to win the current and coming major battle PRU13.

2. Harakah as the key media network for PAS has to take this opportunity to re-examine / review its position in this new environment. Review must be in total although changes may not be so. It must position itself as the most reliable and creadiable Islamic media that CHAMPION Islam as away of life.

3. Harakah has to review its ROLE, MISSION, Objectives, Activities and Structures to be relevant to the current and future demands. The branding must reflect its position as Islamic media that propagate news, mindset, knowledge and lifestyle of universal Islamic values. This is where UmnO has failed miserably such that the brand no more being accepted by the rakyat in Semenanjung. They simply became rejected brand. Develop Harakah into a total media network which will become a reference point for Muslims and Non Muslims. A brand that YES by the Rakyat.

4. Never derail or compromise from propagating Islamic values and defend Islam from any writing, action or behaviour that trying to undermine it. This is especially important with the new partners in the coalitions or the Malays that trying to destroy Islamic values. Defend Islam in a professional and speedy manner.

5. Make the bold initiatives to assemble the best among Muslim intellectuals, media experts, economists and strategists to be the think tank, reference point and guardians of Harakah media network. Made it the support group for PAS leaders nationwide in providing advice, opinions and media crisis management. The PAS top management must endorsed and subscribe to this new role and initiatives.

6. Strengthened the Harakah media network to cover Published Harakah, Harakah Online, Published Books and Bloggers that supported similar values. Benchmark the current performance with the world best and put a clear target to achieve that level. Always stay ahead of others in performance and innovations, after all Islam subscribe to nothing but the best for mankind.

7. Intelligence, information, media network, system and organisation are vital in winning any warfare. All the elements must be sharpened and galvanised into a single lethal force to win the current and future war.

8. Harakah has proven that it can delivers despite the restrictions before. I believed they could do better, since they have better influence and resources now. May the strength, wisdom and blessing of Allah be with all of you on BSS.

acciaccatura said...

salam shah,
my interest is on eduction. a pullout, a coloumn, anything. exam tips,language, both academics and dinniyah. islamic education covers a wider scope. that can help pour in more ideas.
technology too shah. the latest in photos and a little write up.
semoga berjaya shah! thanks.

Pembebel said...

change? a music to my ears. :D

cakapaje said...

Salam PN,

Well, in politics as well as in life, one does need to sell one's ideas across and most especially to the opposite side in order to gain influence. This, would definitely mean making an effort to get to those Sarkas people as well.

And thank you for your wishes :)

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Muha,

Those are some very noteworthy ideas you mentioned, thank you. InsyAllah, I will put it across.

cakapaje said...

Salam Pak Zawi,

Harakah have been toying with the idea of subscribed news similar to Malaysiakini. In fact, sometime in 2006, they put it into effect, albeit for a short term only as some people - yours truly included - went up in arms :)

In a way, M'kini can be seen as a truly profit-oriented news organisation, though in truth, they too are like Harakah - trying to get the truth to the public. While M'kini started off their precisely with what they are doing now, Harakah is caught in between - profit and obligation. Further, since M'kini put an emphasis on its English use and quite correctly sell the news, Harakah's priority in on Bahasa Melayu. Still, a middle path could perhaps be reached. Honestly, I too would prefer English news :)

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam snowflake,

Hehe, you too are like PN above in your thinking. But like I mentioned to her - perhaps I'll rephrase it slightly different here - a war can be won when you have more people thinking the same way you do. Similar to in Islam, perhaps this too can be likened to dakwah - propagating the truth.

cakapaje said...

ps snowflake, thank you for your comment and wishes :)

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

While Harakah have been fighting for a daily paper or at least the twice a week before, the approval can only be given by KDN. And we know who controls that, don't we?:)

Investigative journalism ala Karam Singh is what I have been trying to do with webtv8. Unfortunately, to do that, one need resources, time and some support, if you know what I mean. Most especially, you would need well trained staff. But I will put it forward again.

Hmm...I like the medical stuff you mentioned. In fact, about a year ago, I proposed news on consumer issues as well; there are tonnes of such news waiting to be discovered!

Thanks Cikgu :)

cakapaje said...

Salam kerpie,

You ask me to correct you, and so I do :)

Bro, no, I will not be joining them, sorry to disappoint you. Like before, I am still an honorary staff member - no pay, no say :)

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaiumusalam Dato',

I like this a whole lot "The branding must reflect its position as Islamic media that propagate news, mindset, knowledge and lifestyle of universal Islamic values", which quite similar to Muha's comment. And I believe so will Harakah's higher management, insyAllah. Thank you Dato' :)

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Accia,

True, Islamic education pullout for the prints, why not indeed! And more photos for the, I agree. InsyAllah, I will put it forward. Thank you :)

cakapaje said...

Salam pembebel,

Lol! You must listen to lots of grunge music then :)

baez-kun said...

hello ^_^ am back

nak tanya dahulu keluaran harakah is like twice per month kan

takde nak deal dengan kementerian yang menghadkan tu ke?

ura2 ada akhbar baru pakatan 5 negeri?

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam baez-kun,

Sudah berkali kali pihak Harakah meminta dan memohon secara rasmi untuk - bukan keluaran setiap hari - tapi untuk keluaran 2 kali seminggu seperti yang pernah dilakukan dahulu. Namun, setiap kali itu jugalah KDN menolak permohonan.

Tang akhbar 5 negeri itu, ianya masih ura-ura :)

Nice to have you back.

Snowflake said...

I dropped by at readsonly.blogspot. There is a reply from me.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam snowflake,

Thank you, and I have already replied to your comment :)

waterlily said...

Salam Shah,
Nampaknya ramai yang sudahpun memberikan pendapat yang berisi, bernas dan padat.

Bersetuju dengan dengan pandangan Muha.

Kurangkan cerita-cerita sensasi tanpa bukti.

As Cikgu said must has Karam Singh Walia type of expose section. Dan lagi satu - jagalah etika kewatawanan.

Congrat Shah. Moga berjaya demi agama Allah dan Nabi saw yang kita sayangi.

ps: Boleh tak adakan satu laman "Marhain menulis". Letak artikel menarik yang ditulis oleh OKU, para ibu tunggal, dsbnya. LOL.

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam WL,

Terima kasih. Cuma, harus saya nyatakan bahawa saya bukan diambil atau ditawar bekerja dengan Harakah ye - cuma seorang sukarelawan yang ingin berbakti sahaja. InsyAllah, saranan WL akan turut saya kemukakan.

Mengenai laman "Marhain Menulis" termasuk untuk OKU, ada 2 cara untuk masakini:

1. Saya pelawa mereka yang berminat untuk menggunakan blog "News You May Have Missed" saya.

2. Hantarkan tulisan itu kepada samada '' atau ''.

Untuk pengetahuan WL, sahabat kadetpencen itu lebih cenderung kepada berita politik, manakala ayehsd itu kepada berita kemanusian dan agama. Juga untuk pengetahuan WL, ayehsd kelmarin berminat untuk menghantar keluhan WL ke beberapa e-groups tapi merasa khuatir seandainya WL dipersalahkan oleh pihak tertentu.

Seandainya WL dan Muha berminat, saya ingin mencadangkan agar kita buka satu blog yang tidak menggunakan nama benar. Berita OKU kita campurkan dengan berita pengguna dan masalah harian rakyat. Kalau WL setuju, insyAllah, saya akan bantu dari segi mengendalikan blog itu.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

but shouldnt it be more like 'no say no pay'?

Roti Kacang Merah said...

Salam abg shah, thanks for inviting me here!!! I hope these could reach you in time!

I personally think that Harakah now has a far bigger role to try reach out to non-Muslims who voted for Pas in the previous election (albeit the votes could be 'sway votes') and to portray Islam as agama yang seadilnya.

(you know lah this general perception in M'sia ~ that if you're Islam, then you automatically a Melayu, hence the term "masuk Melayu". what tha hell, kan??? I even know some of the Pas members sendiri yang berfikiran sempit macam tu! that kind of attitude chases away people and supporters, and bunyi sebijik macam ameno.)

so, ruangan for the Kelab Penyokong Pas Cina & India & Iban would be pertinent in this case and get one or two from the club members to contribute as well.

I think having pull-outs macam the dailies (sports, medical etc) may just be redundant since benda-benda macam tu you could just baca out of the dailies. Kalau nak ada pun, adakan satu column/ruang for "berubat cara Islam sebagai perubatan alternatif" or something, and in additional boleh do coverage/advertise those genuine ustaz/ustazah yang boleh mengubat cara Islam.

Lastly, yang paling penting sekali, this is also the best time that you can justify, clarify and rebutt Mr. Karpal Singh on his overly over-reacted negative perception of Islam. tuang air pelan-pelan, sejukkan dia. akhirnya, dia akan sejuk, dan orang-orang lain yang sama fikiran dengan dia pun akan sejuk juga...InsyaAllah.

good luck Abg Shah!!!

'Salam juga to abg Lutfi, glad that he's getting better now!

elviza said...

Salam Bro,

Ah, good luck with the thing with Harakah.

If I may share my point of view with you. I buy Harakah every time I spot one on the news stand despite the slightly higher price.

I think Harakah (despite being newspaper of PAS) has a lot of potential and rooms for improvement.

It would be to their advantage if they could hire non-partisan writers to give it a fresh perspective.

The editor should also give extra attention to the presentation and language style of the newspaper. Read: minimise the spelling mistake and few grammatical error here and there.

Eh, banyak pulah songeh saya nih yer? Anyway, the above is my 2cent lah... :-)

Take care bro!

cakapaje said...


Huh? You mean: No pay no say, don't you? You are getting me confused bro ")

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Lin,

Hmm...yes, I got to read your comment rather late and was unable to convey your salam to Lutfi. However, the contents of your comment were discussed in the session. Thanks Lin :)

cakapaje said...

Wa'alaikumusalam Elviza,

This is indeed a surprise but welcome comment from you. And no, you are not 'banyak songeh' at all :)

With regards to your comment, such was exactly what I mentioned in the session. InsyAllah, I will put in an entry on that later tonight.

Thanks Sis :)

Kata Tak Nak said...

Weekly blog roundup, not the racun rumpai la, yang tu bagi kat Samy, but something useful from the blogs, bukan scripts2 yang katataknak punya, tapi real serious and good writings.

cakapaje said...


That was suggested too by someone. Please read my latest entry.