Telling the truth integrity of journalism, says Bernama editor-in-chief

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KUALA LUMPUR: A journalist, whether from the mainstream media or otherwise, must uphold the basic principle of telling the truth in reporting or writing a news story, Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) editor-in-chief Datuk Yong Soo Heong said yesterday.

He said a reporter should never sensationalise the truth or take the easy way out by doing a “cut-and-paste job” in writing a story.

“They must verify the facts with the sources before using the information, especially from certain websites on the Internet, and don’t just plug out everything.

“This is because, once it has been published, people will judge you by the way you write through your articles,” he said at a forum titled “Role of Media in Ensuring Integrity” organised by the Malaysian Integrity Institute (MPI), here, yesterday.

He said journalists should report in good faith, be inquisitive, hardworking, imaginative and always on guard against manipulators.

He also said that notebooks and recording devices were the important instruments that could help journalists to keep the integrity of their jobs.

Meanwhile, Blog House Malaysia advisor Datuk Ahirudin Attan said social media was becoming a very powerful tool to new ideas as well as expressing opinions.

“Unlike the mainstream media, the social media does not have experts such as ‘editors’ or ‘gatekeepers’ to ascertain the accuracy of information distributed to the audience.

He suggested the establishment of a media council, not only to regulate the mainstream media but also the social media in ensuring the integrity of the news. — Bernama