MELAKA: The myriad of fake news in social media is the reason that newspapers are still relevant among Malaysians, said lawyer Datuk Tan Hor Sam.
Tan, who is the Melaka Newspaper Vendor’s Association honorary chairman cited an example that a UK financial firm surveyed 1,050 respondents comprising prominent businessmen and found that 61% of them acknowledged that print is the most reliable source of information and should be preserved.
He said the survey was reported worldwide about a month ago.
“In Malaysia, the trend of reading newspapers is increasing among the younger generation who are hungry for authentic news and want to improve their language.
“Our newspaper vendors are also reporting an increase in circulation across the country,” he said in his speech during the association’s dinner here.
However, Tan said editorial boards of newspaper organisations in the country should provide a certain degree of coverage for Opposition parties.
“A reasonable amount of Opposition news could indirectly help boost newspaper vendors’ livelihoods,” he said.
Tan said editorial teams should also uphold justice and fairness in their reports as well as be bold in raising issues.
“They should not be afraid of authorities or attempt to please them with event-based stories.
“In the end, the public will defend bold journalists if the authorities attempt to take action against true reportings,” he said, adding that he was optimistic that print would gradually gain back its popularity for those hungry for genuine news.
“Many are reverting to traditional ways of reading news as browsing long articles on smart phones could be straining.
“Apart from that, news coverage in newspapers are authenticated compared to many past postings on social media where many are hoaxes,” he said.
Tan hopes that media organisations would continue to maintain their print platform.
“Many organisations need their events to be featured both in print and online,” he said.