Address false news with media literacy, says media expert


Dr Nuurrianti Jalli.

MIRI (June 6): The low level of media and information literacy among Malaysians is one of the root causes for the rampant spread of false news on Covid-19.

This is according to Dr Nuurrianti Jalli who is Assistant Professor of Communications at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States of America who also said the time has come for Malaysia to deal more strategically with ‘information disorder’ or interruption of information such as false news.

“In Malaysia, many people use social media regardless of their age but unfortunately the awareness of the ethics on its use, the level of media and information literacy is still low.

“Education related to media literacy should be enhanced, not just as a campaign on television and other media,” she added when contacted.

She called for the subject of media and information literacy to be introduced in schools, universities and community centres.

The academic also agreed that legal action should be taken against those who spread false news and information especially those that can cause fear, chaos, fights and threaten the well-being of society.

“For instance, spreading inaccurate information regarding the Covid-19 vaccine can cause others to not wanting to get vaccinated and will ultimately disrupt the mission to achieve herd immunity to curb Covid-19.

“My advice is, make sure we use social media responsibly, check the information that we are about to share as legal action can be taken if we do not take seriously the ethical dissemination of information,” she said.

Nuurrianti, who is an expert in media and information warfare, added that there are many laws that can be used by the government to prosecute those who spread false news while highlighting the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.