KUCHING: Media practitioners in Sarawak must work twice as hard to ensure that they get the right information out, thus differentiating them from the wannabes on social media.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the media faced challenges nowadays as their profession was threatened by social media.

“Social media can present an ethical challenge to the journalism profession as everyone now can become the media through the use of their smartphones and uploading news content on social media such as Facebook and Twitter,” he said.

However, he noted that there was also a tendency for fake news being pumped out through social media platforms.

“And that is why your role is more critical than ever, to ensure that the right information is delivered to the public,” he said.

Dr Sim was speaking at the 2020 Chinese New Year Media Night attended by about 220 local media practitioners held at Lido Star, Jalan Sekama here on Sunday.

Dr Sim (eight right, front) flanked by Cheng (on his left) and Wee with guests at Lido Star.

The event was organised by Federation of Chinese Associations Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions.

Dr Sim also mentioned that the event was one of the federation’s annual programmes to thank the media for their support towards the federation and the Chinese community.

“Thus, with the positive influence portrayed by the media, the Chinese community’s contribution throughout the years will not go unheard,” he continued.

Later, media practitioners received red packets in conjunction with the coming Chinese New Year celebration as token of appreciation.

Among those present were Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Kuching, Cheng Guang Zhong; Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang; Federation president Datuk Richard Wee; and Tan Kai, a political secretary to the Chief Minister.