Journalism ethics and efforts to raise public awareness about the spread of false news through social media are among the focuses of the 2023 National Journalists’ Day (HAWANA) celebration.

Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) Roslan Ariffin said this is because one of the main challenges faced by journalists now is the spread of inauthentic information by social media users who are not trained and bound by the journalism code of ethics.

“Undoubtedly, not all users of social media are among those who are trained (media literate)…some social media influencers are keen to regard themselves as ‘journalists’ but they are not, because journalists are trained professionals.

“So, when these influencers share unverified and inauthentic information on their respective channels and platforms, this causes major concern as fake news proliferates.”

Roslan said this when interviewed for the HAWANA 2023: Media Bebas – Tunjang Demokrasi (Free Media – Pillar of Democracy) programme on Bernama Radio today.

Meanwhile, Malaysian-Indonesian Alliance of Journalists (ISWAMI) Malaysia president Datuk Mokhtar Hussain said the HAWANA celebration provided an opportunity for media practitioners in both countries to exchange views and knowledge to advance the journalism profession.

He said several media leaders from Indonesia were also invited to participate in HAWANA 2023 and also as panellists at the media forum to share their experiences on the establishment of the Press or Media Council in Indonesia, while also strengthening relations among media organisations between the two countries.

“Indonesia is also planning, contemplating on how to get allocation and funding from tech giants (technology giants) to also pay fees to the media because these tech giants also use news content from the local media.

“So we hope that they will share their experience in that direction,” he said when interviewed in the ‘Jendela Fikir: Pena Penulisan Nusantara’ programme on Bernama Radio.

Mokhtar said Indonesia is fine-tuning the implementation of this new payment mechanism since the companies concerned should pay some fees for the use of media content as is being implemented in Australia.

The HAWANA 2023 celebration will be held in Ipoh, Perak from May 27-29 with the theme ‘Free Media, Pillar of Democracy’ to re-emphasise the issue of media freedom for journalists in carrying out their duties.

The HAWANA 2023 Summit will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on May 28 May.

The annual date of May 29 was gazetted as National Journalists’ Day in conjunction with the publication of the first newspaper in Malaysia, Utusan Melayu, on May 29, 1939, which became the first media platform in the country.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency