I REFER to “Timely reminder of good journalism” (The Star, Feb 8). Brian Martin’s key point that with the unprecedented proliferation of fake news, true journalism is indispensable to democratic societies deserves highlighting.
The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer noted 63% of Malaysians surveyed admit to not being able to distinguish between rumours and good journalism.
Perhaps we need a greater level of public interest journalism in Malaysia to counteract fake news, propaganda and censorship.
Sound public interest reporting can expose corruption and help remove politicians who have committed wrongdoing from office.
Public interest journalism is about placing the rakyat’s interests at the top of the agenda.
Hence, it helps if public interest journalism is supported by government or private organisations to enable journalists to unearth maladministration or corruption.
As Bob Woodward said: “The central dilemma in journalism is that you don’t know what you don’t know.”
Public interest journalism would also help expand legal protection for whistleblowers and other confidential sources.
SZE LOONG STEVE NGEOW