By Jaythaleela K
MIRI, Mar 2: Media practitioners are reminded to always be professional and responsible in their work and not to stir provocative issues.
Addressing some 100 Northern Sarawak Journalists Association (NSJA) members at its installation ceremony (for the 2019-2020 officer bearers) cum Chinese New Year gathering here yesterday, Minister for Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian stressed that journalists must adhere to their work ethics and report only authenticated information.
“Journalists are able to create positive mindsets by reporting true and valid news because their news is a source of community referrals,” he said.
His text-of-speech was read out by Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin.
Dr Sim added that in the digital era, the way information is produced and received had changed, but the professionalism and credibility of journalists remained indispensable, till this day.
“With digital era, most mainstream media are struggling to stay relevant in delivering accurate and valid information to readers. People nowadays want to get frontline information, and social media provide this platform that creates many `journalists’ everywhere, posting anything every minute,” he noted.
However, he lamented that only a handful of these so-called `journalists’ would not check for authenticity of the information they had received, and, thus, generated a lot of fake news.
“This irresponsible action will damage the people’s understanding of complex issues and often cause problems. They should not be spreading defamatory or provocative issues because they are capable of undermining unity,” he highlighted.
“We want everything posted in the news to be accurate not only in the print and electronic media but also in social media.”
On NSJA, he praised the association for safeguarding the health of its members: The association had raised its health screening incentives to members from RM100 to RM200 annually.
“The association is concerned with their members, and this can be a good example for other associations to emulate,” he said.
Also present were Senator Alan Ling, Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, Miri MP Dr Michael Teo, Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni, Miri mayor Adam Yii and NSJA president Andy Jong. — DayakDaily