Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Doa Itu Senjata Orang Mukmin

When I was in school, I studied a subject called Newswriting. As the subject name suggests, it's about writing news story, the kind you read in newspaper or the kind you hear being read on TV or on the radio.

I had a great time learning that subject, because, after all, I fancy myself as a writer.

One of the thing we learnt in that subject is, newsworthiness. It's basically a measure for any news reporter/journalist/writer can use when determining whether or not the story deserves a space in the newspaper or the TV or radio news.

There are seven newsworthy attributes. Prominence. Currency or timeliness. Proximity. Novelty. Human Interest. Impact. Conflict. There might be more, but the ones I learnt were those seven. Let me focus on one for this entry. Proximity.

Proximity, in relation to newsworthiness, basically means that a news story is interesting to the readers or listeners or viewers due to the fact that the parties involved in the news story are somewhat 'close' to the readers or listeners or viewers. By 'close', I mean, they share similarities, they share something in common that makes the readers or listeners or viewers able to relate to those in the news story.

Proximity here, to me at the very least, is open to your own definition. Geographical proximity, for example, as Malaysians, something happening in Malaysia would interest us. Proximity here, also denotes other similarities, like if the news story is about something affecting the Muslims, then the Muslim readers or listeners or viewers will be interested in the story, because even if the people in the news story is at the other side of the world, they're still our Muslim brothers and sister. We still share a common thread.

That's why what's happening in Palestine interests me. Though I gave Islam as a commonality between me and the Palestinians, I woefully acknowledge that I am not a good Muslim. But the stories and pictures bombarding the mass media of the latest attacks still breaks my heart. Maybe it's because I'm a mother?

I've a favourite quote, though I used that term loosely, because I don't have the exact word, on the Palestinian cause. It's from a well-known ustaz (religious, Islamic guru) here in Malaysia, Ustaz Wan Sohor Bani Leman. Ustaz Wan says that, "Palestin hanya akan menang, apabila solat Subuh berjemaah di surau sehari-hari sama ramai jemaahnya macam solat sunat Aidilfitri."

Mungkin nanti Allah makbulkan doa anak-anak Palestin. Dan doa-doa ibu-ibu yang patah hatinya seperti aku. Amin.

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