Malaysian media hits out at Australian current affairs show’s MH370 story for ‘bad journalism’

Still from A Current Affair show

A clip from A Current Affair show

A number of Malaysian journalists have hit out at a Australian current affairs for a segment featuring two teenage girls who raised questions about the cockpit behaviour of two Malaysia Airlines pilots, one of whom was on board the missing MH370 flight.

On the A Current Affair show, the two Australian girls described spending time in the cockpit with the pilots some weeks ago as “a bit sleazy” and said that the two men – one of whom was allegedly First Officer Fariq Abdul Hamid, who was on board MH370 – were smoking during the flight.

The video went viral and a still image (above) from the show has generated a lot of heat on Facebook.

An article on independent news site Malaysian Digest quoted journalists who attacked the A Current Affair report for being one-sided, based on hearsay and not giving the pilots in question the right to reply.

Datuk Johan Jaafar, non-executive chairman of Malaysian media giant Media Prima, told Malaysian Digest: “It doesn’t matter where the news came from but this principle is the same for all journalists everywhere. It is an unwritten rule that should serve as a guideline for all newsman [sic].”

“MAS [Malaysia Airlines] has to get the other pilot in the video to explain what actually went down that day,” he said.

Another journalist, the former managing editor of the New Straits Times Datuk Nuraina Samad, was quoted as saying:  “It made me cringe to see the way the girls told their story. It is bad journalism, but then again Australian media is known for such behaviour.”

The managing editor of Astro AWANI, Suhaimi Sulaiman, was also quoted for the piece. He said: “We will never feature a story if there’s [sic] no views from all the parties involved. In journalism, we have to give people the right to reply to an allegation. This is the basic [sic] of journalism,” he said.

A journalist from state news agency Bernama suggested that the A Current Affair report showed an abuse of press freedom. “The media has to be responsible,” he said.

The seven-minute clip from A Current Affair can be viewed here:


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