Improve skills, use current tech to deliver news, minister urges journalists


Lee (left) witnesses the installation of NSJA’s new committee for the term 2023-2024 led by Chai (second left).

MIRI (May 5): Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin said that reporters should improve their journalism skills so they can utilise current technologies to effectively deliver news to their readers.

He said there have been many changes in the journalism industry compared to over 10 years ago, and these changes have affected the way news is delivered.

“I personally feel journalists need to step up their skills to keep their pace with these changes and they must take advantage of today’s technology to more effectively deliver accurate and authentic news to readers out there.

“Of course, writing is also different (now). Today’s readers want news accuracy in a fast, simple and easy to understand form along with facts and data,” Lee said in his speech at the Northern Sarawak Journalists Association (NSJA) annual dinner here on Wednesday.

He said journalists and reporters must realise there is still a lot of work for them to do and many challenges to overcome especially since fewer print newspapers are being sold compared to 10 years ago.

“In the past, you could see various newspaper names but now it is decreasing – this is because online news and portals are taking over. That is why, during a courtesy visit by NSJA exco members recently, I agreed with their suggestion to organise an Online Journalism Course with Curtin University for their members,” he said.

He added that he had requested NSJA to submit names of all its interested members so the course can be arranged.

On a related topic, Lee cautioned that with new technology comes fake news which all media agencies need to fight against.

“Based on Cision’s 2022 Global State of the Media Report released last month, a survey on 3,800 journalists and editors in 17 regions worldwide found that 32 per cent of them chose credibility as well as trusted sources of news – fighting fake news was their priority.

“This shows that today’s field of journalism requires you to be more alert, persistent and innovative in carrying out your tasks. It also requires you to work together as a community that shares the same values and principles,” he said.

Lee also congratulated the new NSJA office bearers for the 2023-2024 term led by its president Chai Chon Chin.

“I am confident that all of you will perform your duties with excellence, as well as be effective in defending and fighting for your journalistic goals and ethics in today’s challenging situations,” he said.

Apart from the installation of the new committee and presentation of NSJA Education Incentives to its members’ children, the dinner also celebrated World Press Freedom Day and Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Also present were Miri MP Chiew Choon Man, Pujut assemblyman Adam Yii, councillor Leslie Lau representing Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Sebastian Ting, Miri Hospital director Dr Jack Wong, NSJA past president Andy Jong and the dinner’s organising chairperson Clare Cinderella Kom.