KUCHING: Movement for Progress, the non-governmental body better known as Azam, has launched its own YouTube channel, which will feature youth oriented content created by the target audience.
Azam Online TV launched yesterday with a series of videos, in which local personalities are given RM50 to spend in Kuching city.
The first in the series featured local musician Asyraf Hardy spending on the budget around town, while episode two will feature ERAfm DJ Afick.
“The online TV channel complements Azam’s other existing communication modes including radio and newspaper articles,” Azam chief executive Datuk Aloysius Dris said.
“Information on the Internet is like a whirlwind. We cannot not be involved. We have to open our eyes and see how we can participate in the digital revolution.”
The dedicated YouTube channel will feature original content, reaching out to youths by letting them propose, produce, shoot and edit the videos.
“We see a lot of opportunities here. We want to use this as a way to be more involve with all segments of society as we move along,” Aloysius said, adding, for a start, he hoped the channel would feature “citizen journalism” type content.
Malaysians are among the world’s most active Internet users. In a PricewaterhouseCoopers report last year, the average Malaysian spends more than seven hours a day online. The usage is particularly high on social media.
Azam chairman Tan Sri Mohd Morshidi Abdul Ghani, who is State Secretary, hoped the YouTube channel would bring the organisation to a wider audience.
He said mobile Internet’s on-the-go availability and instant dissemination of information was a boon for the state Government, and not a negative.
“Yes, often we see unbalanced postings and the spread of inaccurate information; yes, the ‘cut and paste’ effect might have its pros and cons; but I believe it is good for us to embrace new media in this digital age. It is for us to cross-check with the information provided by the mainstream media,” Morshidi said.
“It is important for us to share development happenings and relevant information no only to urban people, but also rural communities to ensure equal opportunity for them to be engaged in the state’s development agenda.”
According to an Azam statement, another series under works for the YouTube channel is “Sape: Magical Strings of the Rainforest”.
The launch yesterday was accompanied by a half-day seminar on “The Internet in the Age of the Millennials”. Speakers featured included Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s Social Informatics and Technological Innovations Institute director Prof Alvin Yeo, Sarawak Bloggers Society president Cyril Dason and musician Nana Sheme.