KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) , as a credible news agency and source of authentic news, can play an important role in countering the fake news phenomenon.
Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said this unhealthy phenomenon should be effectively stamped out, because before a fake news could be verified as untrue, the “damage is done”.
“Like many countries, Malaysia faces the scourge of proliferation of fake news which the public easily believe,” he said in his special message in conjunction with the national news agency’s Golden Jubilee celebration on May 22.
In light of this, he advised people who use the smart phone and such gadgets to surf the Bernama portal to check on the authenticity of a news item.
“I believe Bernama can rise to the occasion in meeting this challenge and to remain relevant,” Salleh said.
In conjunction with Bernama’s 50th anniversary, Salleh also stated his wish to see the news agency moving forward in tandem with the drastic changes to the current media landscape, especially in the provision of online news.
According to him, the quality and diversity of Bernama’s news coverage needed to be enhanced in accordance with the taste and expectations of its clients and audience which had become increasingly selective while the “business as usual” approach was no guarantee to progress for this news agency in the long term.
Salleh said among the clear and vital functions of Bernama as a national news agency was playing its traditional role as a “news bridge”, connecting Peninsular Malaysia with Sabah and Sarawak.
“This role has been effectively played by Bernama by easing channelling of news, information, photos and visuals on happenings and developments on both sides the country separated by the South China Sea.”
He said the newspapers and other media platforms in Sabah and Sarawak had made Bernama their important source of news on happenings in the peninsula or of national news.
Vice versa, he said, the media in the peninsula depended on Bernama to report on news and events in the two East Malaysian states.
“I believe this role can to expanded up to the global level, particularly in being an important bridge for ASEAN cooperation in terms of channelling news and information in the region,” he added.
He also suggested that Bernama continue to strive at diversifying its products which could generate income, without neglecting its main role as a national news agency that upholds the aspirations of the people and nation. – BERNAMA