Need for journos to reinvent to stay relevant


KUALA LUMPUR: In the context of the Internet Revolution people begin to talk about the government of the future and the future of public service, as well as the need to talk on the media of the future, said Tokoh Wartawan Negara Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar.

He said the discussion of the media of the future should be the main agenda and he believes the future is now.

“For me what is more important is ourselves. We must reinvent ourselves in today’s scenario for us to remain relevant.

“Labels are not important. We are aware of the new eco-systems that are dominating. As long as journalists adhere to ethical principles and true journalistic principles, there is still a tomorrow for us, for our profession and the media -driven business world,” he said.

He said this in his speech during the Malam Wartawan Malaysia and Malam Hadiah Kewartawanan Malaysia MPI-Petronas 2022 at Shangri-La here, on yesterday night (June 24).

He said the media industry needs to be aware of the need to relook at the approach to work as well as the development of human capital needed to meet current and future needs.

“We do accept the fact that we are competing with social media which is instantaneous, real-time and out of control. We also realise that in the Hawana Resolution that mainstream media must co-exist with social media.

“Yet we are also aware that demands for truth or truth in the context of the mainstream media cannot be compromised,” he pointed out.

He also said that the free media is the backbone of democracy, democracy will not be fertile and mature without responsible media.

“Journalists become the eyes and hearts of the people and play a role as the conscience of a nation state.

“Sometimes journalists themselves forget the role we can play, the burden of responsibility we have to bear and the people’s expectations of us. Sometimes we also forget that we can make changes in determining the direction of this country.

“So then we have to play the role as required by our profession, no more and no less than that,” he said.

He mentioned that media practitioners are not measured by their loyalty but by their professionalism.

“Governments can change, as well as the slogans and jingoism. But we will continue to be measured from the role we play in this increasingly complex country,” he said.

He said, nowadays, it is not easy working as a journalist in a country with many laws and acts that restrict freedom of speech and freedom of the media.

“Even in our resolution while in Melaka we stated our firm stand to demand the government to abolish any media-related acts and laws that are considered outdated or archaic and no longer in line with current needs.

“We know it is not easy for any government to do so. Reformation seems to be only on the lips and lost in the process of transition. After all we are warned that the manifesto is not engraved in stone. In the new media eco-system, with the extraordinary demands for us to be truly free and fair then we are the ones who have to start the move.

“We must speak out like our friends around the world to state our position and make reprimands no matter how bitter. We should be equally concerned with action against journalists everywhere,” he said.

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