In Boleh Land, the net will be my first choice.
Posted By rajlira On 6th February 2008 @ 00:00 In Local
KUCHING: Today’s Internet and the short-text messaging system (SMS), have given the people a speedy alternative in news sourcing instead of relying on the conventional newspaper and radio, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan.
Given this alternative, journalists must be more careful in the way they report issues because if they failed to do justice to their news, they could be upstaged by the Internet and SMS, he said.
“I was talking to one of the journalists just now that the papers need to be truthful because if they don’t, somebody will point out your fault through the Internet or the SMS,” he said when officiating at the Kuching Division Journalists Association (KDJA) Chinese New Year dinner here on Monday.
Dr Chan said people today not only did not rely entirely on paper or radio to tell them on happenings but that the alternative sources of information were becoming a powerful media tools as well.
He said that having a more open society required journalists to be more careful about their reports as the truth would eventually be revealed.
“You can never keep on saying “sounds like me, looks like me but I don’t know whether it’s me”. This sort of thing cannot be going on,” he said, to laughter from the diners.
Dr Chan also said that the country needed good responsible journalists to help bridge the information gap existing between the government and the people.
Reporters, especially the new ones, must exercise caution in their writing so as not to create turmoil in society due to their inexperience, he said.
Dr Chan said that despite having one or two ‘black sheep’ in the fraternity, journalists must always remember that Sarawak is a multi-racial society and there are many issues that could easily inflame emotion.
He said the government did not take lightly things that could create unhappiness and disharmony among the people.
Earlier, KDJA chairperson Dayang Fatimah Awang Lai advised the fraternity to be more professional like being appropriately attired when covering functions and behave properly so as not to attract unnecessary attention.
She said KDJA had also received complaints about individuals claiming to be reporters and they would normally accompany their friends and spouses and register themselves as reporters at functions.
“Genuine reporters and photographers assigned to cover functions should alert the organisers of such individuals,” she said.
She was pleased to note that Kuching journalists had been quite responsible in their reporting as they had avoided sensitive issues like race and religion, raised by unscrupulous people.
On a separate issue, Fatimah said that KDJA had been involved in welfare activities such as cleaning campaign at the Sarawak Blind Centre and also forming young reporters club in schools.
She said this year KDJA had picked three schools in which to set up the club.
Housing Minister Dato Sri Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg, assistant ministers in the Chief Minister’s Department Naroden Majais and Larry Sng, Stampin Member of Parliament Datuk Yong Khoon Seng, Batu Kawa assemblyman Tan Joo Phoi, political secretary to the Chief Minister Alan Sim, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) secretary general senator Datuk Sim Kheng Hui, SUPP publicity and information chief Datuk Alfred Yap and State police commissioner DCP Mohmad Salleh were also present.
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