Journalists at the front lines battling fake news

KUALA LUMPUR: Journalists play a superhero-like role in combating the spread of fake news in cyberspace, which is becoming more rampant with the advancement of technology, says Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching.

She said the importance of journalists as a source of reliable information will remain unchanged despite shifts in information delivery following the digital revolution, which includes artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

“Journalists are on the front lines of disseminating accurate information,” she said when flagging off the National Journalists Day (Hawana) 2023 Media Hunt participants at Wisma Bernama here yesterday.

According to Teo, 49 cases of fake news recorded by the Communications and Digital Ministry between January and April this year were investigated.

Bernama reported that she expressed her gratitude to journalists for their contributions to ensuring the continued progress of Malaysia Madani development plans, including through their constructive criticism, so that the government can provide the best service to the people.

On the Hawana 2023 celebration, Teo expressed her appreciation to the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), as the implementing agency, for working hard to ensure the event’s success with the support of local and international media organisations and sponsors.

Earlier, Teo flagged off 30 vehicles carrying 120 participants from media agencies, who will be taken to heritage sites in Perak.

The three-day Hawana 2023 celebration, with the theme “Media Bebas, Tunjang Demokrasi” (Free Media, Pillar of Democracy), which aims to re-emphasise the issue of media freedom for journalists, began yesterday.

Anwar is scheduled to grace the highlight of the celebration today.

The date May 29 was gazetted as National Journalists’ Day in conjunction with the publication of the first edition of the Malay newspaper, Utusan Melayu, on May 29, 1939.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is expected to make several important announcements regarding the direction of the country’s media industry in Ipoh today.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said the government has been discussing the direction of the media industry, which is currently facing pressures including in terms of business and the impact of technology that are driving changes.

“Economic pressure and this development have affected the sustainability of the media industry, and the welfare of media practitioners, and all these aspects are being given attention by the government,” he said.

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