KUALA LUMPUR: Journalists and the media fraternity have a duty not only to report authentic news but also to become guides and initiators of ideas in building the nation, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said media practitioners should feel free to share their views and give constructive criticisms to the country’s leadership towards better governance.
He said scholars as well as journalists should be free to criticise the country’s leadership and have differences of opinion with them.
"I firmly believe a journalist’s job is not just to report but to initiate ideas for the country," he said when delivering a speech at the 2023 Malaysian Press Night in conjunction with the MPI-Petronas Malaysian Journalism Awards (HKM) 2022, here on Friday (June 9) night.
The Prime Minister also called on media practitioners to play a role as educators to cultivate people’s interest in reading and acquiring knowledge.
Anwar said that without a deep interest in reading, the people would not have a proper understanding of issues happening in the country, including matters of policy and governance.
The Prime Minister said the challenge of the hour was to re-elevate Malaysia’s capabilities as a democratic country based on the concept of Malaysia Madani, adding democratic freedom can only be elevated through 'fresh' discourse driven by journalists.
Also present were Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil and his deputy Teo Nie Ching, Malaysia Press Institute (MPI) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Chamil Wariya and Petronas executive vice president Liza Mustapha.
Meanwhile, Chamil said for the 2022 edition of the MPI awards, 368 entries were submitted compared to 350 in 2021.
He also said Petronas has agreed to sponsor HKM for the next three years which would also include a new category involving radio and television.