KUCHING: Sarawak is prepared to host the National Journalists’ Day (Hawana) celebration next year, says Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The Sarawak Premier said he would support efforts to bring the celebration to the state.
“If (Communications and Digital Minister) Fahmi Fadzil agrees, we can host it,” he said at a media high tea in conjunction with Hawana here yesterday.
This year’s Hawana celebration was held in Ipoh, Perak.
Abang Johari also said the state government would help organise a media conference to help local journalists improve their skills and professionalism.
In particular, he said it was important for journalists to know the latest developments in areas such as science and finance for responsible and accountable reporting.
“I believe a media conference is one way for us to share ideas on how to raise the standards and professionalism of journalism.
“If possible, we want to upgrade the quality of reporting in all areas, especially finance and banking, the economy and science,” he said.
Abang Johari added that the state government would provide financial assistance to local journalists who wanted to further their studies at the postgraduate level.
He said the assistance would be channelled through Yayasan Sarawak for the media personnel to study at renowned international journalism institutes.
Abang Johari also called on journalists to be responsible in their reporting and not create false perceptions.
“The media is free to report, but you must be accountable for what you write so that you don’t jeopardise our unity.
“We also accept responsible criticism so that we can improve our policies,” he said.
Earlier, Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department Datuk Abdullah Saidol said Sarawak would bid to host next year’s Hawana celebration.
He said Sarawak has a lot of news to share with others, especially about the unity and harmony among the state’s diverse communities.
“We need the media to share what we are doing here,” he added.