Press freedom requires media practitioners to be responsible - Teo

12 Oct 2023 04:38pm
Communications and Digital Deputy Minister Teo Nie Ching - BERNAMA FILE PIX
Communications and Digital Deputy Minister Teo Nie Ching - BERNAMA FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - Media freedom requires media practitioners to be responsible in their reporting and coverage, said Communications and Digital Deputy Minister Teo Nie Ching.

She said reporting that violates the rights of others or the law must be avoided because it could result in civil or legal action against the media.

According to her, media practitioners must report and disseminate accurate and authentic information because they are bound by the Malaysian Journalism Code of Ethics.

The Information director-general has the right to revoke Media Certification Cards issued to media practitioners who violate the Code of Ethics, said Teo, adding that 2,942 cards were issued this year.

At the same time, she said the Communications and Digital Ministry (KKD) through the Broadcasting Department (RTM) and the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) always make coverage in the best interest of the community to ensure the dissemination of accurate and timely news to the public.

"It is also suited to our country's media's unique dynamic and landscape based on the provisions in the Federal Constitution that outline its limitations, including freedom of expression, particularly when it comes to sensitive matters such as racial issues and so on,” she said during the Questions for Oral Answers session at the Dewan Rakyat today.

She said this in reply to a question from Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (PH-Ledang) on measures taken by the KKD and related agencies to enhance the role of media practitioners in providing genuine and reliable information.

In order to strengthen the role of media professionals, she said that RTM is constantly carrying out reforms to the broadcasting content and technology used.

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Teo said RTM has for a long time adhered to stringent standard operating procedures (SOP) prior to broadcasting news on television, radio, or its official social media to ensure that the information is accurate.

"In addition to obtaining information from authentic sources, the news must also go through several publication filters, including those of the editorial department, before being broadcast so that the information is truly authentic and reliable.

Meanwhile, Teo said the government has agreed in principle to the proposed establishment of the Malaysian Media Council (MMM) as part of the government's commitment to continue improving press freedom and assisting media practitioners in dealing with challenges.

She said that the proposed establishment of the MMM takes into account the council's role in defending press freedom in the country in disseminating information, as well as the establishment of a code of ethics that ensures media practitioners report the news with integrity and responsibility. - BERNAMA