KUALA LUMPUR: The media needs a conducive environment for it to function effectively to protect public interests, apart from the freedom to report, said the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).
In a statement issued here today, the commission said, media practitioners, as the first person on the field, and at times risking their safety, should be assured of protection to enable them to carry out their role without fear of threats and reaction from any quarters.
“The government should mobilise efforts to support the establishment of the Media Council which aims to improve and achieve higher journalistic standards, as well as increase public confidence in the mass media.
“Suhakam emphasises that fair access to information guarantees freedom of the media and journalists and the establishment of an independent Media Council would be an indication of Malaysia’s commitment to comply with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” it said.
According to the commission, during enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) to address the Covid-19 outbreak, the press and the media play an important role in reporting accurate and up-to-date information, while at the same, counter fake and false news that could create anxiety among the public.
The statement was issued in conjunction with World Press Freedom Day, which falls today. This year’s celebration is themed ‘Journalism without Fear or Favour’. – Bernama