Press freedom should be exercised with responsibility

Press freedom should be exercised with responsibility

SHAH ALAM: Media practitioners in the country need to exercise the freedom given by the government with discipline and responsibility and not to play on issues that can undermine racial and religious sentiments, said Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Eddin Syazlee Shith.

The deputy minister, however, said he understood that the media needed news stories with ‘stings’ to attract readers to buy newspapers or visit their news portals.

“In finding such news stories, we have to balance it with journalism ethics that are based on the principles of Rukun Negara.

“We don’t want such news stories to be sensationalised to spread racial hatred, but I think the media has no intention to do such things (spread racial hatred), they are simply reporting the issue according to its news value.”

He said this to reporters in response to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s recent call on the media not to play up race and religious issues for fear that it would be difficult to contain enmity between the races if the media continued to report on such negatives news.

Eddin was met at the 10-a-side rugby tournament organised by his ministry and Home of Warriors last night.