KUALA LUMPUR — To protect the public interest and freedom to report, the media requires a conducive environment to function effectively, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said in conjunction of World Press Freedom Day.
Media practitioners, the first person on the field, and at times risking their safety, should be assured of protection to enable them to carry out their role without fear of threats and reaction from any quarters, the commission said as Bernama reported.
“The government should mobilise efforts to support the establishment of the Media Council which aims to improve and achieve higher journalistic standards, as well as increase public confidence in the mass media.
“Suhakam emphasises that fair access to information guarantees freedom of the media and journalists and the establishment of an independent Media Council would be an indication of Malaysia’s commitment to comply with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” it said.
During enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO), the media plays an important role in reporting accurate and up-to-date information, while at the same, counter fake and false news that could create anxiety among the public.
This year’s celebration is themed ‘Journalism without Fear or Favour’.