PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Azman Ujang has been appointed chairman of Bernama, the national news agency of which he was once the general manager and editor-in-chief.
The Sarawak-born journalist, whose appointment took effect on Feb 1, succeeds Datuk Abdul Rahman Sulaiman who had served as the 10th chairman of Bernama for six years.
Azman is the first ever to hold the top three posts of chairman, general manager and editor-in-chief of the 48-year-old news agency.
The appointment of Azman is with the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak handed the appointment letter to Azman at his office here Wednesday.
Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Jailani Johari; Communications and Multimedia Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad and Bernama General Manager Datuk Zulkefli Salleh were also present at the event.
Azman held various posts in Bernama in a career spanning 37 years before his retirement in June 2008 as the general manager, a post to which he was appointed in March 2007.
The Sarawakian began his career with Bernama as a cadet reporter at the Bernama Sarawak Bureau in 1971 and was promoted to head the Bernama Sabah Bureau in 1982.
The following year, he was appointed Bernama Economic News Service news editor.
Azman was promoted to various editorial positions in the news agency, including assistant editor of the News Desk, Features Desk and acting editor of the Features and Foreign News Desk before he rose to become the editor-in-chief in 2004.
He was appointed Bernama editorial advisor until September 2009. He was also the advisor to BernamaTV from July 2008 to April 2010.
Meanwhile, Salleh also presented appointment letters to other members of the Bernama Board of Governors at his office here.
They included the Chief Editor of Utusan Borneo in Sabah, Lichong Angkui; Deputy Secretary-General of the Communications and Multimedia Ministry Datuk Mohid Mohamed; Group Managing Editor of New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid and Group Editor-in-Chief of Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad Datuk Abdul Aziz Ishak.
Salleh also presented appointment letters to new members of the Bernama Supervisory Council, including Sharifah Zarah and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Vice Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali.
Commenting on his appointment, Azman described it as “capping my long career in journalism”.
“When I started out as a rookie with Bernama over 40 years ago in my hometown, Kuching, I just wanted to be a good reporter and to give my best in whatever news stories that I write. It never crossed my mind that I would rise this far in my profession, let alone to be Bernama chairman, he said.
Azman said he hoped that his rise in the profession would inspire the younger generation, irrespective of their profession, to give their best effort to produce quality work and contribute to nation-building.
“I am indeed grateful to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for endorsing my appointment and thankful to Minister of Communications and Multimedia Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak for proposing me as the new chairman of Bernama,” he said.
Azman acknowledged the challenges ahead in efforts to enhance the quality of Bernama’s editorial services, especially in the current highly competitive media environment.
Bernama, which was set up in 1967 as a news agency and disseminator of information, now handles various news services including BernamaTV, a 24-hour TV news channel on Astro 502, and Bernama Radio24, a 24-hour news radio station.