PETALING JAYA, April 19 – Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has reminded media practitioners not to be apologetic in defending national interests. This is because responsible journalism is constructive and protect what had been achieved over the years while irresponsible journalism is otherwise, he said. “Being responsive to national interests and nurturing them are parts of the character of global media. “Growing information and communication technology that has seen the emergence of online newspapers and news being disseminated via Twitter and Facebook, has posed mounting challenge to the media in defending the national agenda,” Muhyiddin said when opening the Malaysian Press Night 2014 organised by the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) and Petronas in Petaling Jaya, Friday night.
Deputy Prime Minister said in the course of building a united, stable, peaceful, prosperous and successful nation-state, the role of responsible media practitioners was crucial. He said sophisticated technology and modernity could not negate the responsibilities of journalists and reporting principles which were universal in nature in the past, present and future. “The news written cannot be ruthless, they must based on facts and most importantly, fair to the subjects. The determination to uphold journalism profession in delivering fair, accurate, honest and authentic reports should be the focus and emphasis. “This expectation is consistent with the role of journalists as knowledgeable people who know what they want to convey,” he said. Muhyiddin reminded media practitioners not to be journalists who were lacked of ideas or who became popular for going after false news and sensationalism or were driven by certain agenda.
He said the media’s role was not just to deliver the latest information to the community but also to enlighten readers on educational, development economic, political, cultural and entertainment news as an agent of transformation. Muhyiddin commended the mainstream media for adhering to the principles of journalism and accountability in covering the search for the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines MH370 which entered the 42nd day, Friday. He said there was no exception of patriotic fervour in the coverage of the MH370 tragedy as the media was bound by similar psychological elements and objectivity in highlighting national aspirations. “So, let us not be swayed by the travesty that the so-called existence of uniformity or standards of journalism that international set of values had to be observed and performed by local journalists, including in Malaysia,” he said while thanking local media for their coverage of the MH370 tragedy.