KOTA KINABALU – Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal wants the media to be independent and objective when reporting the news.
He said it was important for the media to focus on issues objectively as they could connect with the people and their needs.
“I, for one, am ready to accept criticism. It should be objective and with basis,” he said during a courtesy call by the committee members of the Sabah Journalists Association (SJA) here yesterday.
He said the traditional media outlets have to build trust with the people who have become sceptical and critical as today they have a large base of information through social media.
“There is competition now as compared to the past.
“There should be a paradigm shift from the old system of how you operate. The people’s thinking is very different. I would like to see the media become more objective in doing their duty,” he said.
Shafie said the public resorts to getting information on social media as there is a general lack of trust in the traditional media.
On the widely discussed issue of a media council, Shafie said there was no need for one to act as a watchdog as it was important for the media to be independent.
“Let the media be independent. A council has the tendency to be abused. I believe the media has to be allowed to speak their mind. If there is a council, you will be controlled. For Sabah to move forward, the mindset has to change,” he said in urging the local media to play its important role in Sabah ’s development.
The council is being proposed to act on complaints against media practitioners from the print, online and broadcast outlets. Under the proposal, the council would comprise media representatives including journalists, editors, owners as well as the government.
Shafie was also briefed on the activities of SJA that has some 200 members from the private and government media.
SJA president Muguntan Vanar and his committee also briefed the new Chief Minister on the annual Kinabalu Shell Press Awards as well as plans by the association to construct a building in Kota Kinabalu.
Shafie said his administration appreciates the role of the media and will assist the association in its various endeavours. – BERNAMA