Journalism ethics separate media practitioners from civic journalists – Fahmi

Journalism ethics separate media practitioners from civic journalists – Fahmi

KUALA LUMPUR: Strong journalistic ethics are crucial in ensuring the sustainability of the media industry in this country, thus distinguishing between citizen journalists or citizen reporters and actual media practitioners, said Communication Minister Fahmi Fadzil. He emphasized that the rapid advancement of technology nowadays often blurs the lines between media practitioners and social media, with citizen journalists frequently being on-site to capture recordings and live broadcasts, acting as if they were actual journalists on the field.

Communication Minister Fahmi Fadzil emphasized the importance of strong journalistic ethics in differentiating between citizen journalists and professional media practitioners. He noted that while citizen journalists may contribute to reporting, there are distinct disciplines and principles that define professional journalism.

“However, we all know that being a journalist is more than just uploading posts on Facebook or making live broadcasts on TikTok. There are disciplines, principles, and journalistic ethics that need to be adhered to.

Fahmi highlighted that the rapid evolution of technology has led to citizen journalists often being compared to traditional media, with their live reporting on social media platforms. However, he stressed that true journalism involves more than just posting on social media; it requires adherence to ethical standards.

He further emphasized the significance of journalistic ethics, particularly with the launch of the updated Malaysian Code of Journalism Ethics, which aims to uphold integrity and professionalism in reporting without impinging on journalists’ freedom of expression.

“For me, for the government, and particularly for this ministry, what we want to emphasize is the aspect of journalistic ethics,” he said while speaking at the Joint Council Meeting of Strategic Partners HAWANA 2024 at Wisma Bernama here today.

Fahmi also mentioned that in line with this, the launch of the new version of the Malaysian Code of Journalism Ethics last February was very relevant to the current journalism landscape, without disrupting, controlling, or restricting journalists’ freedom of expression in their reporting.

Also present at the event were Deputy Communication Minister Teo Nie Ching, Deputy Chief Secretary (Strategic Communication and Creative Industry) of the Ministry of Communication Nik Kamaruzaman Nik Husin, Chief Executive Officer of the National News Agency of Malaysia (Bernama) Nur-ul Afida Kamaludin, and Director of the Sarawak Public Communication Unit (UKAS) Samuel Simon.
Meanwhile, Fahmi mentioned that the Kasih@HAWANA Fund established last year has helped alleviate the burden of 58 media practitioners who are elderly and in need of assistance so far.

Fahmi also informed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has expressed his willingness to attend and subsequently officiate the HAWANA 2024 Summit on May 27.

Meanwhile, when approached by reporters, Fahmi said that they are in the process of obtaining feedback from stakeholders for the drafting of the Malaysian Media Council Bill before it can be brought to Parliament.
He said that he had asked Teo and the ministry’s legal advisors to scrutinize certain aspects in detail, and the process is expected to take some time.

Nur-ul Afida, in her speech, expressed appreciation to all strategic partners who provided cooperation and support for the organization of HAWANA 2024. She also welcomed other interested companies and organizations to become strategic partners for the HAWANA 2024 celebration, as a recognition of the contribution of media practitioners in Malaysia.

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