Posted in Gunting Dalam Lipatan

Now do you see what I mean

The last I heard, The Star has 27 reporters on its Metro desk. The Metro desk does Jerusubang stories.

It once sent a photographer and a reporter to a Subang Jaya shopping mall to do a story on a children’s art competition graced by the Yang Berbahagia Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Puan Hannah Yeoh.

But The Star could not allocate the requisite manpower and column inches so that justice could be done to a story about 44,643 extremely poor families. Compare the two Star articles below and come to your own conclusions.

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Yesterday The Star carried a story titled ‘Marked improvement in income levels of the extremely poor‘.

Copypasted below is the article with a screenshot of the full page included.

The facts of the article are:

  • Totalling 229 words
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  • The story calls the families concerned the “extreme poor”. It does not tell us how poor is extremely poor. What is their monthly family income? Do the families have a breadwinner? What are the causes of their extreme poverty? Are they single parent households? What is the average size of the family?
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  • The headline says “Marked improvement in income levels”. If that’s what the headline says, I’d like to know from how much the income to how much the income — in ringgit.
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  • It says that home ownership by poor households increased to 4,865 (out of the 44,643 families presumably). What kind of homes (low-cost flats)? Where? The article does not say. Are they the urban squatter poor? Rural poor?
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  • Looking at the second last paragraph, I’m guessing that they’re not orang asli or Penan. But at least tell us whether they are families living in the peninsula or do they include families in Sabah and Sarawak.
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  • The Star article also said “a new KPI was introduced to ensure 1AZAM participants who received grants in 2011 managed to increase and maintain their income level above the poverty line.” So what was the poverty line that they used? Again the question: How many ringgit? RM800? RM900? The article talks about grants. How much were the grants? How were they disbursed (in cash? in tranches?)
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  • Then there was this paragraph which reads: “The NKRA reported that 15,047 of 1AZAM participants or 114% of the KPI target of 13,327 participants have managed to do so.” Can you grasp what the reporter is trying to convey? Let’s try to slowly dissect the info.
    .

    • 15,047 1AZAM participants succeeded
      .
    • the government only targetted 13,327 participants to succeed
      .
    • the 114% exceeded the KPI
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    • but how are the 15,047 1AZAM participants – and out of how many altogether – related to the 44,643 extremely poor families? Do they overlap? Is one a subset of the other?

Since I clicked on this particular Star article online, then it is obvious that I’m interested in the subject matter. However upon reading it, I simply don’t get any sense of the story. Do you?

Marked improvement in income levels of the extremely poor

(The Star, 20 March 2013)

PETALING JAYA: Almost all the 44,643 families categorised as “extreme poor” have raised their income levels and are no longer in that bracket.

This is one of the key achievements of the Raising Living Standards of Low Income Households NKRA in GTP 1.0 reducing the number of extreme poor and poor households.

“The number of households in the poor category was reduced by 15,868,” said the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Annual Report 2012.

The report said a significant part of the success of the programme lies in the NKRA’s implementation of the 1AZAM and eKasih programmes.

Another positive outcome for GTP 1.0 was that home ownership by poor households increased to 4,865 over the last three years, almost double the previous number.

To ensure the sustainability of the NKRA’s programmes in 2012, a new KPI was introduced to ensure 1AZAM participants who received grants in 2011 managed to increase and maintain their income level above the poverty line.

“The NKRA reported that 15,047 of 1AZAM participants or 114% of the KPI target of 13,327 participants have managed to do so,” it said.

The emphasis of GTP 2.0 will be economic em-powerment of individuals and communities through basic facilities and the right environment.

“The next three years will also take a more targeted approach in addressing the needs of specific communities such as the orang asli and Penan,” it said.

Meanwhile, among the achievements of the Rural Basic Infrastructure NKRA between 2010 to 2012, was the building of 3,349.6km of paved and gravel roads and connecting 297,067 homes to clean or treated water.

Marked improvement in income levels of the extremely poor - Nation The Star Online 2013-03-20 23-44-32

NOW COMPARE

On 13 Sept 2012, The Star carried a Jerusubang article titled Art competition a big hit‘.

  • It was 322 words (almost 100 words more than yesterday’s article about the extremely poor families).
    .
  • The Star reported that Hannah Yeoh commended the Rukun Tetangga for organising the art competition.
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  • The Star reported that Hannah Yeoh said the event was one of the major programmes in her constituency.
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  • The Star reported that Hannah Yeoh said the RT had done a great job and she hoped they would continue to organise the event in the future.
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  • The Star reported verbatim Hannah Yeoh as saying: “I would also like to thank the sponsors of this event as it will not be successful without their strong backing.”

Copypasted below is the article with a screenshot of the full page included.

THE 17th Subang Jaya Children’s Art Competition is expected to be a big hit among the children.

Organisers are hoping to get at least 500 participants.

Due to the overwhelming response from participants in previous years, the organisers have also opened the competition to children who are not residing in Subang Jaya.

The annual event is organised by Rukun Tetangga USJ2 and USJ6 with Petronas, Summit and the Fire and Rescue Services Department as co-sponsors.

<b>All ready:</b> The committee members with some of the prizes.
All ready: The committee members with some of the prizes.

Organising chairman Ang How Chuan said the event would be held at noon on Oct 6 at the Summit Subang in USJ1.

He said based on feedback from past competitions, there were many children living outside Subang Jaya who were also interested in participating.

“I hope parents who live outside Subang Jaya will take advantage of this year’s event by enrolling their children for the competition that will be held next month.

“Certainly, the participation of children from outside Subang Jaya will add more colour to the event,’’ he said

Ang said the theme of this year’s art competition “Our Firemen, Our Hero”, was carefully chosed in line with the RTs objective of promoting community togetherness.

He said they expected the children to use their creativity to come up with drawings that would reflect the role of firemen as their heroes.

“This will encourage them to think about the work of a fireman as well as to further appreciate the contribution of firemen in the community.

Subang Jaya assemblyman Hannah Yeoh, who commended the RT for organising the annual art competition, said the event was one of the major programmes in the constituency.

She said the RT had done a great job and hoped they would continue to organise the event in the future.

“I would also like to thank the sponsors of this event as it will not be successful without their strong backing,” she said.

Art competition a big hit 2013-03-21 00-16-03

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8 thoughts on “Now do you see what I mean

  1. Sad sad day for journalistic world when an art competition is deemed more important than poverty. Shame on the editors & journalists for their slapdash work so that they can spend more time to glorify the queen bee of SJ. I wonder if they sing “Allah save the queen” with gusto every morning before starting the work day?

  2. Actually what this shows is the kind of “culture” these Evangelists subscibe to. The reason these people don’t give two hoots about the poor is because they consider wealth a “blessing” from God.

    So, if you are poor, then God has not blessed you. And what kind of people don’t get blessed from God ? Well, so called “low class” people.

    Now, contrast this with the kind of relgious imperatives that fuels Christians like Dr. Devaraj (PSM), where service to the poor is an expression of faith.

  3. 1AZAM doesn’t give out cash, if I remember correctly. It gives out in-kind tools for the recipients to do small trade and business, i.e. hairstyling, kuih-making etc.

  4. gunting selama ni tumpu pd keuntungan kata pengarang eksekutif WSW.. yg bawah paras kemiskinan kais pagi makan pagi.. mana mampu buat gunting kaya.. baik tumpu pd cerita menarik bagi 5.63 juta tu

  5. btw… i fikir baik penterjemahan ‘executive editor’ = ‘penyunting eksekutif’.. secocok dgn si gunting kan

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