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Govt Considers Online Media As People’s Voice

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KUALA LUMPUR – The government considered online media news analysis, criticism and comments as the voice of the people which should be given due attention.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the usage of online media has become a phenomenon embraced by Malaysians.

However he said all parties are subject to the online freedom of expression as provided under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

“If the party concerned incites and defames on any traditional media, he could also be inciting and defaming online. We look at the content not the medium,” he told reporters after opening the 2014 National Media Forum, here today.

He said the process of disseminating the latest information no longer depended solely on traditional media after the advent of online media.

“If agencies want to get better reach, more compact news analysis should be given so that the roles of media remained relevant,” he said.

Earlier when speaking at the forum’s opening, Ahmad Shabery said under the concept of democracy, the media was seen as a check and balance to the government.

Nonetheless he said the country enjoyed good media freedom and improved ranking in the corruption index.

“For example while Malaysia’s media freedom is ranked 147, we are far better in the Corruption Perception Index,” he said.

Yesterday, the Corruption Perception Index for Malaysia as announced by Transparency International rose from a score of 50 in 2013 to 52 in 2014.

Malaysia also jumped from its rank of 53 (2013) to 50 out of 175 countries in 2014 in the CPI. – BERNAMA

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