January 23rd, 2019

Print media still has a role

Avoid straining your eye and outlook and ‘never say die’ is maybe what I understand of the writing by the NST group editor, Rashid Yusof (Jan 4).

Hardcopies reading need readers to read brilliant, biting and dazzling stories of interest.

The editor-in-chief wants ‘us’ to share our thoughts in ‘the 500 words ~ Letter to the Editor’ column and are ready to be criticized and comment.

Though many businesses are cutting back on their usage of paper and some are even converting to “paperless offices” as the likes of Malay Mail and the unsupportive instructions of not having certain news publishers in the libraries, as an educator I still prefer the hardcopies for readings.

Though the introduction of handheld personal reading devices soars, many media consumers still prefer hard copies of their favorite newspapers and magazines over digital articles.

Though in Malaysia the price of reading materials are ‘quite expensive’ as Malaysian seems unaffordable to buy printed copies yet many prefer printed copies as the means to get latest information


As an educator, I would prefer the merits of reading a printed newspaper on a daily basis.

Reading a printed newspaper provides the reader with a flow of information that’s impossible for books to keep pace with.

Newspaper articles deliver comprehensive information on a variety of topics.

Very few other information sources provide the scope and detail on so many separate and interconnected events.

The information found in newspapers can assist you in important life decisions.

Local newspapers provide insight as to the events that affect your community in a way that national news outlets can’t.

For years, educators have recognized the value of newspaper articles as a resource to supplement traditional textbooks.

News stories can be used to demonstrate parallels between current events and historical lessons, to teach educational lessons, as fresh material to assign writing assignments, etc.

Teaching students about the importance of media in our life, educators help produce a sharper, better informed electorate, which is one of the reasons why so many institutions of higher learning require their educators to include media-related assignments in their syllabi.

Many publications offer student-discount subscription rates to encourage readership in that demographic.

If you’re attending college or a trade school, check to see if the magazine or newspaper you want has a student discount. The savings are often substantial.

Arguments that will successfully compel a person to do something that’s counter to their personal convenience are rare.

Eventually, when you missed news story that crosses your television screen be smart enough to run through the printed news.

Many physical-print readers will even grudgingly admit that they prefer the speed of web articles, but they will stubbornly stick to their print publications for the simple reason that it’s one fewer thing that they have to do on their phone or computer.

I used to send my writings to NST and other medias too, some are published and some not.

I tried very much to persuade my students to write to the ‘news’ but they responded that one need to be a Professor, a Tan Sri, a doctorate or a scholar as priorities are given to them.

They even ask me ‘how much do you get for writing and been published’. No compensation or token given to writers or senders.

You may have heard that newspapers don't pay as well as magazines. In some cases, that's true.

On the positive side, when I use my newspapers writing in the classroom, it helps students to look at things in a bigger scope and it improves their critical thinking skills since they cover a wide range of things all in one pack.

I sense that newspapers are more current than textbooks. There is a lot of information which can boost the performance of students in general.

Newspapers can be good tools of teaching students how to come up with a project the way newspapers do.

They are very helpful in language improvement if read frequently. They help improve the general knowledge as they reflect the current status of the country.

Newspapers can also contribute in enhancing literacy, and is an important educational resource as well.

Azizi Ahmad New Straits Times Opinion Letters 23 January 2019

Link between job authority and depression

Every day when we go to work sometimes we will stumble with the head of our office (unless we are one); we see leaders in the news and medias and shall we say well known people with successful personalities.

Important and powerful figures seem to display certainty and balance; they appear as example of victorious careers.

But when they are not in the limelight, my guess they too will feel the weights of work and mental extremes required to induce there begin to uncover themselves.

Steve Jobs regularly shown characteristics of bipolar disorder, he was found fluctuating between minutes of joy and rage.

Sandberg of Facebook also reveals her emotional struggle which influence her mental well being.

It is our upbringing that separates us; we will always assume that if someone or somebody is the leader then he or she is to be psychologically different from us.

We will not discuss the emotional well being of them openly or to challenge their ‘weaknesses’ as it is a too-sensitive subject.

I use to say to my colleagues most ‘head of departments’ are mentally disturbed or having mental illness.

My saying is not without proper thinking or observation as ‘no one mentally healthy person would want others to be hurt either physically or emotionally’.

Study in science shows that the higher your position in workplace the more pressure you will attain.

Normally, before a person heads a position they are nice and good, but once they changed to higher position, narcissism, over-optimism, fear, anger and depression overcome them.

People who gains rewards of career and monetary will open the conduits to mental well being issues and the coming about shame that still encompasses them.

One study seems to show that there is a strong link between job authority and depression.

According to the study, women with job authority (control over others’ work) are more depressed than women without while men with job authority are less depressed than men without.

However, some studies have shown that men under report depressive symptoms, often due to differences in gender role socialization.

It can be said that men are more mature in handling problems and can handle more than women.

Studies also show that leaders are often expected to have a thick skin to withstand the cut-throat nature of big transactions...

No one leaders or head of departments will admit they are weak or vulnerable; though they are under stress or depression they will never admit them as it will be seen as their weakness.

Indeed, sometimes some of our negative emotions can be turned into positive drivers. But the answer lies in properly acknowledging and addressing the need for more open acceptance and discussion of mental health in leadership positions.

Often many of us are ashamed of admitting that we are depressed and under stress. We actually don’t need to suffer this alone.

We need to understand that depression is common and can be treated. It is not a character imperfection. Times are changing thus we need to clear the minds of too much stigma in our society about mental health issues.

If we are happy, we would love to work. Work is important to some but we should not be attached to too much work. We need to de-stress ourselves by making friends, regular exercise, enjoy healthy foods and take time off for holidays. We need to maintain a life balanced.

As leaders or head of departments, you do need to keep workplaces healthy and happy. You do need to manage your own mental health successfully and should be responsible for creating an environment that helps to end the stigma of mental health in the workplace.

Often ‘leaders’ are poor in educating themselves. They are shy enough to admit their shortcomings. They would not want to be educate on positive mental health in themselves, what more to allow colleagues to gain knowledge on what certain situations look like.

Overworked employees are often less productive and more stressed, and these issues compound over time. Businesses are actually more efficient and effective when they uphold values around work-life balance. Thus, leaders should not uphold work-life balance.

Being a leader or head of department could be an intense one but there’s no shame admitting you do have mental illness or problem too.

Though it’s quite ashamed to many but one need to ensure the problem can be cure and clear up. Mental well being needn’t be an unthinkable theme.

Azizi Ahmad New Straits Times Letters 23 January 2019

Original theme: Mental well being needn’t be an unthinkable theme