Set up centre for journalism studies to boost professionalism, says Ismail Sabri

MELAKA: A centre for journalism studies needs to be established to support the standards and boost the professionalism level of journalism in the country, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Prime Minister said that the centre could collect reference data from various studies conducted to strengthen journalism in Malaysia.

He said the centre could also involve interaction with various social fields spanning different cultural contexts.

For that purpose, he urged that the centre be established in Melaka, taking into consideration its historical links with the development of journalism.

“I hope academics and researchers can benefit from this centre and conduct historical research on how journalism evolved in Malaysia and the South-East Asian region,” he said when launching the National Journalists Day (Hawana) 2022 celebration here Sunday (May 29).

The prime minister said that to raise journalism as a noble and respected profession, future journalists need to receive sufficient formal training in developing expertise, responsibility and integrity.

He said trained journalists possessed integrity, supported ethics and were objective in producing reports for society.

Journalists need to have professional ethics that serve as guidelines and rules in carrying out their duties with discipline and responsibility to raise the level of professionalism in journalism, he said.

He also urged for an association, to be called the Malaysian Journalists Association, be created to represent the print, electronic and internet media in the country.

This was to ensure the preservation of ethics and professionalism among journalists and to ensure their welfare.

Ismail Sabri said the field of journalism was also filled with challenges, especially with the development of technology which has given birth to many “instant journalists”.

That, he added, was why fake or unverified news was able to spread widely online, thus affecting the country’s development.

“I hope media organisations and journalists can help deflect and reject fake news and advise ‘instant journalists’ not to carry out such acts.

“Journalists in Malaysia need to unite and play a role in the dissemination of verified and true information as a way to curb the rampant dissemination of fake news,” he said.

The Melaka Declaration 2022 was read out at this year’s Hawana, which was not held over the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

May 29 has been set for the National Journalists Day celebration in honour of the first newspaper published in Malaysia, Utusan Melayu, on May 29, 1939. – Bernama