Malaysian journalists, particularly in Sabah, were urged last night not to give room for news stories based on mere allegations or made up of lopsided information or half-truths.
Sabah Chief Ministeri Musa Aman said journalists reports should be based on solid facts and not speculation which would paint the wrong picture and cause unnecessary concern or even panic.
“At a time when information, albeit true or false, is available at the press of a finger, the media now has more responsibility to ensure their reports are accurate,” he said at the Kinabalu Shell Press Awards here on Friday night.
Musa said journalists have a constructive role to play in society by not only reporting news and providing information to the public, but also to act as an important intermediary between the government and the people.
He said the media influenced people’s way of thinking, besides having the power to change the social and political landscape of a nation.
“This tool should be used wisely and for the betterment of society. Using it in a different direction and in an irresponsible manner could spell disaster,” he added.
The chief minister also presented the six main awards to the winners of the Press Awards.