Media reps uphold press, speech freedom, fight fake news through The Melaka Declaration 2022 

SECRETARIAT OF NATIONAL JOURNALISTS DAY 2022
29 May 2022 04:01pm
Malaysian journalists unanimously agree to the Melaka Declaration 2022.
Malaysian journalists unanimously agree to the Melaka Declaration 2022.
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SHA ALAM - Malaysian journalists uphold the supremacy of the Constitution and the principles of the Rukun Negara. We uphold freedom of speech and press freedom to ensure the survival of a healthy and vibrant democratic system.

The journalists and media in developing countries such as Malaysia play a vital role as the eyes and heart of the people besides being the voice of the masses, and also act as a check and balance as well as being the conscience of a nation-state.

We are aware of the challenges of maintaining harmony in a multi-racial country that accentuates diversity. At the same time, we understand that the dynamism of the media world and the traditions in journalism are rapidly changing due to the power of the Internet and social media.

Nevertheless, our responsibilities in the context of ethics and professionalism have not changed. We understand that this profession must remain independent and function uninterrupted to ensure the best in terms of national integrity and governance.

Malaysian journalists also play a role in delivering true and authentic information to address the issue of widespread fake news. What matters in today’s world is not only the accuracy of news but also speed in its delivery as well as its effectiveness.

Therefore, in conjunction with National Journalists Day (HAWANA) today, Sunday 29 May 2022, Malaysian journalists hereby unanimously make the Melaka Declaration 2022 as follows:



SAFEGUARDING AND RECOGNISING JOURNALISM AS A NATIONAL INSTITUTION
Journalism is a profession that can influence the sentiments or attitude of society through the generated reports and writings. Therefore, journalism must maintain its function and role to monitor the conduct and governance of the country so that the administration operates with integrity in all aspects. Trustworthy and responsible journalism is an important asset in the development of the nation state.


In preserving and elevating the dignity of journalism and press freedom, journalists must be given the space to deliver authentic and balanced reports in accordance with the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. As such, journalists should be given the freedom to discharge their duties as best as they can without any hindrance at all.


UPHOLDING THE CONSTITUTION AND PRINCIPLES OF THE RUKUN NEGARA


Journalists who uphold Malaysian Journalism Ethics respect the principles of the Rukun Negara, namely Belief in God; Loyalty to King and Country; Upholding the Constitution; Rule of Law; and Good Behaviour and Morality. At the same time, freedom of speech, press freedom and the right of association contribute towards the creation of an environment conducive to a democratic system. As such, journalists are a part of the nation-building process and contribute to fostering inter-racial harmony and national unity.


JOURNALISM ENNOBLES INTEGRITY


As the bedrock in driving the direction of the country, journalists have a role to play in ensuring that integrity becomes a practice of national governance. This can thwart practices associated with abuse of power, breach of trust, corruption and malpractice in Malaysia.

COMBATING FAKE NEWS

The traditional media plays the role of delivering information to the public. The Internet simplifies the role of the media despite it being more challenging. The Internet expedites the process of delivering news and information. Social media has a huge influence on today’s society. Social media can be misused to spread fake news and information that are deliberately generated to grab the attention of Netizens and to become hot or trending issues. Responsible media organisations need to work together to combat the spread of fake news that can tarnish the good name of individuals, organisations and the government.

Issued by Secretariat of National Journalists Day 2022