Malaysians from all walks of life are urged to continue buying and reading newspapers as a sign of support and manifestation of their appreciation for the role of the press in the country’s development and progress of the people.
In making the call, Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairperson Azman Ujang (photo, above) said that the media is now a very challenging industry following the information technology boom or transformation which had drastically reshaped the entire media landscape.
According to Azman, the most affected is the newspaper or print media that has been around for a long time, with the interest among the young generation to read them dwindling.
“The price of the newspaper now is only about RM1 or RM1.50. What is wrong with continuing to buy daily or weekly newspapers? This will give a morale booster to the pressmen, for them to improve the content of their respective newspapers,” he said in his speech at the Bernama Workers' Union 45th anniversary dinner yesterday.
Also present were Lembah Jaya assemblyman Haniza Mohamed Talha, Bernama chief executive officer Nurini Kassim and Bernama acting editor-in-chief Mokhtar Hussain.
Azman said for Bernama itself, newspapers had been among the first and most loyal customers of the news agency since its establishment 52 years ago.
“They're still our most loyal customers. So it's very much in our interest to see to the interest of the newspapers as well," he said in making his case for newspapers to remain part of mainstream media.
As the mainstream media, he said, newspapers could help in addressing fake news as most of the newspaper companies had a legacy of reporting news for decades compared to the new media.
Meanwhile, Haniza said she saw the rapid growth of information technology as a call for media practitioners to continue to be information providers to the public.
“The role of the media cannot be underestimated as the media plays a vital role in shaping the mindset for a more mature society,” she said.
She also praised the credibility of Bernama for its role as a good news agency remaining as a source of reference to other media outlets.