Newspapers here to stay

Tania Lam

KUCHING: Mainstream media still relevant, and that also means the print media will not fade away — at least in Malaysia.

Despite competition from social media and citizen journalism, traditional or established broadcasting or publishing outlets will go on as usual.

“Mainstream media is still preferred by many people,” remarked Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg during a ceremony for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Sarawak-based SV News Sdn Bhd (SV News) and Media Prima Berhad (Media Prima) and at the new State Legislative Assembly Complex here, yesterday.

In his speech, he also emphasised the importance of disseminating factual news and not fake news.

“Previously the word ‘viral’ did not exist in the media industry. The root word is ‘virus’, which is viewed as something negative,” Abang Johari said.

“The media are now faced with a disease, meaning whether what is reported is true or not. This gives rise to the term fake news.”

The chief minister highlighted the duty of those in the media line to analyse and provide accurate information as ‘medication’ to prevent the spread of the ‘viral disease’.

He said the collaboration between SV News and Media Prima can ensure movement in this positive direction.

SIGNED AND SEALED… SV News CEO Dr Jeniri Amir (left) and Media Prima Berhad Group managing director Datuk Kamal Khalid exchanging signed MOU documents following a signing ceremony between the two media companies in Kuching yesterday. The two companies have embarked on a strategic collaboration to enhance media services and content in Sarawak. Looking on are Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (third right), and (from left) NSTP interim CEO Mustapha Kamil Janor, Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin and Media Prima chairman Datuk Syed Hussain Aljunid.

Meanwhile, SV News chief executive officer Dr Jeniri Amir said that SV News emerged amid a grim media landscape where other media firms were shutting down.

“I am of the view that there is still room and hope for print media in Malaysia even though many experts say that especially in America, newspapers will become a thing of the past by 2043,” he said in his speech.

Jeniri opined that newspapers have to develop a smart approach or strategy in order to remain relevant.

He stated that the challenge for the media was to provide a space to engage thinking, enabling the audience to be politically aware and up-to-date with current issues.

“Content is still king,” he stressed.

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