Media industry sustainability, empowering digital economy on ministry's spotlight in 2024, says Fahmi


Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The sustainability of the media industry, empowering the digital economy and resolving issues of internet infrastructure and service quality in remote areas will be among the focus of the Communications and Digital Ministry next year.

Its Minister Fahmi Fadzil said he viewed the sustainability of the media industry as the key to ensuring that authentic news is obtained from professional sources, and the Ministry would always support the country's media ecosystem.

Citing an example, he said several countries including Australia and Canada were seeing confrontations between social media providers and the media industry concerning the issue of service providers generating revenue through the content of local media organisations.

"This is very important, (and) I have held several meetings with Google, TikTok and have also discussed this matter with several representatives of the media industry.

"In Malaysia, I hope we can work things out amicably and inclusively involving all parties and that the result will benefit the media industry," he told reporters after appearing as a guest on Bernama TV's "Apa Khabar Malaysia" programme on Tuesday (Dec 5) morning.

Previously, Fahmi had said that the ministry was studying the need to license major social media platforms like Google, Meta and TikTok which generate revenue through the content of local media organisations.

Fahmi, who marked his first year of service at the ministry on Tuesday, also said the Malaysian Media Council Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament next year, as part of efforts to protect the interests of and continue empowering the local media.

"While waiting for this bill to be tabled and passed, I see avenues for closer cooperation with the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) to enhance professionalism and ethics among journalists,” he added.

At the same time, he urged the Social Security Organisation to study issues concerning stringers to ensure that their welfare and safety are taken care of.

Fahmi said the Ministry would also focus on efforts to intensify the acceptance and involvement of Malaysians in the digital economy to help transform the socioeconomic landscape and generate better income for the people.

"We have seen how the digital economy can change the fate of those who are interested, involved and have the capacity to succeed, especially entrepreneurs. But in the second year, we will not be focusing only on entrepreneurs.

"With better and speedier internet, secure data and proper cyber security, many other areas can also benefit, including e-learning and e-health,” he said.

He said matters concerning the construction of internet infrastructure in several remote areas would also be given attention next year, apart from efforts to improve internet consumers’ user experience and not just service quality.

Fahmi said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission had been asked to look into this seriously because he had received many complaints regarding the unsatisfactory quality of internet user experience. - Bernama

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