Malaysiakini Letter

Social media complements mainstream media

Ali Salman

LETTER | As much as I agree to some extent with the call to Malaysians to "return to mainstream media for authentic, authoritative news", I beg to differ.

Social media does provide important and timely news, thereby complementing the mainstream media.

Social media news could be authentic and authoritative in some cases. We have seen several instances where social media is first to report an event which later is picked up by the mainstream media.

In the same way, social media may spread misinformation or fake news. Similarly, some mainstream media news may spread propaganda due to ownership.

Development, socioeconomic and politically-related news might be reported to suit a particular interest.

Social media and mainstream media should be seen as complementary sources of news. The audience should be media-literate in consuming the content of both news sources.

Social media has facilitated the diffusion of news from the mainstream media. Several mainstream media with an online presence link up with social media so as to reach a wider readership.

We have to live with the fact that social media is a double-edged sword and can be used for good or bad.

In the same vein, the mainstream media should be balanced in their reporting so as to attract a wider readership.

Hence, being authentic and authoritative is not enough. The mainstream media should work on changing the public's perception of them.

After all, the media serves as the eyes and ears of the public and they should carry this duty responsibly.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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