President’s Office encouraging unprofessional journalism, claims MMC

The Maldives Media Council (MMC) has accused the President’s Office of discouraging journalists from following the council’s rulings and code of conduct.

The MMC’s claims came after Press Secretary for the President’s Office Mohamed Zuhair told news outlet Sun Online that the government did not support any action against journalists of the Sun Media Group, after three journalists conducted an investigation into illegal prostitution in the Maldives.

The Media Council declared the standard of the written articles were unprofessional and that the articles indicated that the journalists may have been engaged in sexual activities with the prostitutes, and that their style of writing encouraged the activity. It referred the matter to the Prosecutor General.

However, Zuhair told the paper that the government did not consider the articles to be inappropriate, or containing words that indicated that the journalists might have involved themselves in any criminal offences.

In a press release issued by the MMC following the remarks made by the Press Secretary, the MMC accused the President’s Office of obstructing the council’s efforts to establish a culture in which journalists worked within a code of conduct.

The council said the executive was speaking in such a way that implied it could influence the work of the council, which was irresponsible.

‘’It makes the public and the media lose confidence in the legal duty of the council to set the media in the right direction,’’ said the Media Council in the statement. ‘’The remarks made by the Press Secretary were made in a way that it encouraged such writings, and was said without showing any respect to the Islamic principles, laws and the beliefs of an Islamic society.’’

The council also noted that it has declared that the articles were inconsistent with the Media Code of Ethics and that the editorial management of Sun had already apologised over it.

After Sun Magazine published series of articles sharing their experience with prostitutes working at spas and salons in Male’, the MMC pulled the magazines from circulation and forwarded the case to the Prosecutor General to file criminal charges against the paper.

Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair was not responding at time of press.


10 thoughts on “President’s Office encouraging unprofessional journalism, claims MMC”

  1. not surprising coming from a government run by a bunch of people who would easily shed their clothes in front of a web cam.
    i wont be surprised to find that these people get "services" from these massage parlors.

  2. I do condemn the article written in Sun, it was more fit for a soft porn article, however they don't need to be dragged to court for that. Its a first offence.
    The MMC is run by a bunch of radicalist, just today Atoll Radio broadcasted a lecture saying women need to stay at home and not go to work, unless their is absolutely no choice. And that some nobel peace prize winning economist had even reiterated that it was bad for the economy. Ofcourse the economist went unnamed.

    When Nazeef character's radio sprouts such bullshit how can he police other journalists. Atoll should be closed purely for misleading the public on religious matters and spreading false information to support their bigoted arguments.

  3. If radio atoll is to be shut down, then secular outlets like minivan news should follow next. Because it is doing nothing other than spreading false information to support their bigoted arguments

  4. it is not only a nazif's decision to send the Sun article to prosecutors general(PG). The Maldives Media Council held a meeting that day and all the member journalists who attended the meeting voted to send the matter to PG.
    Even if they didnt, the police were going to investigate the matter as they reported that they have received lots of complaints from public.

  5. Journalists should be accorded recourse to a referable and written set of Laws and/or regulations..They should not be judged on the general feelings of some people who pretend to be doing God's work. The Media Council should have specified exactly which sentence or paragraph contravened which article of which regulation. In the absence of that..there is simply no legal case. That was what the Press Secretary said. He made the point that writers should be able to write to the full extent that the law permits them. The Media Council also accuses the government of having an undesirable policy against the Islamic fabric of society (in the past tense).This observation has no bearing at all with what Mr. Zuhair said, and is a presumption being broadcast day in and day out by Mr. Nazeef and his Atoll Radio, along with other hate messages. How can the Media Council chief be seen to be impartial when he actively works as an enemy of the government more along the lines of an opposition political leader. The media Council should not be platform for those bitter about Mullah Zorro having lost the election in 2008. Tks.

  6. The Media Council is seen as the guardian for journalists, an intermediate buffer to prevent journalists being dragged to court the whole time. In this case, the Media Council contradicted the very purpose of its existence, abandoned and proffered the journalists up for grabs to the Police, the Prosecutor General and jail. How can the Media Council chief be unbiased while mongering hate against the government and talk about being a professional? Pls note that the Press Secretary had already clocked in some 25 years as a journalist in more difficult times, before he joined government in 2008, and is the only working journalist from the few who were awarded the national Silver Pen for Journalism during the Gayoom years..

  7. Sun Journalists performed a public function by proving that these masseurs offered sex, admitted willing to engage in sexual acts, and were willing to be paid for prostitution.That was the extent of it. At no time did any Sun journalist write that any sexual acts actually happened. The closest sentence to soft porn was.. "she touched her lips to my face."...In the previous political culture, this would warrant serious investigation cuffs pillory and beatings up until the accused sang out the tune in the lecherous imagination of the main Mullah.. that's the psychology of people like Nazeef..who belong to the political culture of the past..

  8. it's funny as a person who talked to Nazeef that day, he was totally against carrying out this case to extreme, even to prosecutor general. Even the decision to remove the magazines from stores was also a decision of the Sun Magazine not media council. ... It's soo sweet how people judge others just with regard to something they hear about women on a radio.

  9. Premise 1: What the journalists reported is true as it happened.

    Premise 2: The articles were written " softporn"

    Premise 3: "Unprofessional" and "softporn" legally defined and known to all ( we know softporn when we see it!).

    Premise 4: Unprofessional article writing is a criminal offence.

    Conclusion: The journalists are criminals.

    I conclude that the MMC is nuts.

  10. Meaning The MMC should express concern, do a review but let the public take the matter to the court. The MMC is acting like the impassioned public.


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