PETALING JAYA: The newspaper industry has a responsibility in opening the minds of the people and moving the masses to progress in line with changing times, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy.
Chan, who is also MCA deputy president, said apart from channelling information, newspapers also played the role of educator and a source of inspiration.
In a democratic society, the people also expect the newspapers to become the 'tongue of the people' to speak for their rights and defend social justice.
As such, it is important for the newspapers to have a platform of discourse for the intellectuals to air their views, criticism and suggestions for constructive purposes, he said when opening the Datuk Wong Kee Tat Journalism Award ceremony here on Friday night.
His speech was read out by Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat.
The annual award is a form of recognition for excellent newsmen from any of the Chinese newspapers in the country and it also served as an encouragement to inspire journalists to strive for the best.
Chan credited the Chinese newspaper as being the window of knowledge for the Chinese community and a bridge that link the people and the Government.
Nanyang Siang Pau editorial assistant Ang Jun Syan won the news category the Datuk Wong Kee Tat Editing Award 2002.
The feature category of the award went to Nanyang Siang Pau reporter Chan Yeong Siew.
Both Ang and Chan received RM3,000 and a trophy each from Wong.