MALACCA: In the era where information is at one’s fingertips, especially with the global increase of social media usage, professionalism among media practitioners plays an important role in curbing the spread of inaccurate of fake news.
Malacca Communications, Multimedia, NGO, Youth and Sports Development Committee chairman Kerk Chee Yee (pix) said media practitioners who put professionalism into their practice, would always ensure that only true information is being disseminated and that they would as a good source of reference.
“Where else can the people verify the news or information they received if they cannot trust the media or if the media were unprofessional and uncredible? In this era of technology, any fake or confusing news can be easily spread, so we have to ensure that media reports are true and accurate.
“This is important to maintain the credibility of the media because, with the rapid development of the technology, it has become more important for the media to maintain their level of professionalism and to avoid publication of confusing or out-of-context reports,” he told Bernama.
On April 19, the Organsation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (Oana) was reported to have expressed concern about the global phenomenon of fake news dissemination, which had also affected the reputation of many new agencies.
Kerk said many assumed that the roles of the media were merely to report and to publish information, but there were more than that as the media were actually the ones shaping the people’s mindset and perception of their surroundings.
“The media plays the role of the middleman, the one shaping the mindset of the people, because what we read whether in the newspapers or the news portals would shape our mindset and our lifestyles, as well as our perception and the way we see the world,” he said.
He said after holding the communications and multimedia portfolio in the state for almost a year, there was a rising concern among the media practitioners about the freedom of the press.
“Some of them had shared their experiences with me and said that there was a time when the media access to certain information was blocked and controlled.
“In order to support freedom of speech and information, we must set our media free. We are leaving the era of ‘saya yang menurut perintah’ (I, who follow orders) behind. The government does not limit the freedom of the press. But, there are still challenges the press must overcome,” he said while expressing hope that the people would one day appreciate the media as an agent of change. — Bernama
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