KUALA LUMPUR: Although the new media is said to be the preference of the current generation of news readers today, newspapers as part of mainstream media, have the ability to combat the threat of fake news.

Making this observation yesterday, veteran social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said authenticity owing to information derived from credible news sources, was a hallmark of newspapers or the print media, making them continue to be purchased and read by society in general.

People nowadays receive online news through their phones or other electronic devices but cannot tell whether the news is accurate, with many instances of such stories turning out to be false, he told Bernama when contacted yesterday.

On Saturday, the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairman Datuk Seri Azman Ujang called on Malaysians to continue buying and reading newspapers as a show of support and in return for the monumental role played by newspapers in the development of Malaysian society and the country.    

Speaking at the 45th anniversary celebration of the Bernama Workers’ Union, Azman had said the act of purchasing a newspaper at the cost of about RM1 to RM1.50 would serve as a morale booster to the journalists and other staff to continue with their work, while striving to improve on the content of news reports.

Meanwhile, Lee who is also the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) chairman, said newspapers represent valuable historical records, with some people taking pains to collect them, and they are also used as official documents and can serve as evidence, unlike information available on the web which is prone to change or deletion.

He also encouraged institutions of higher learning and schools to subscribe to newspapers as part of efforts to improve the language proficiency of students, and added that in the process, both educators and students would benefit from an expansion of their general knowledge and understanding of current affairs. – Bernama