Code of ethics is not to control, prevent journalists from reporting news

Code of ethics is not to control, prevent journalists from reporting news

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Code of Ethics for Journalists launched on Feb 20 is not intended to control or prevent any journalist from reporting news.

Director of the Media and Corporate Communication Division of the Information Department (JaPen), Datuk E. Sivabalan said that some parties who quickly took to social media to claim that the code of ethics restricts media freedom may not understand its content.

“If one does not read and understand it, then they can’t comprehend…Does the code of ethics state that journalists are not allowed to criticise the government? No. We also did not write that journalists are not allowed to enter certain areas and so on.

“As a journalist myself, formerly, now, and forever a journalist, I personally would not agree if this document is used as a form of control over journalists…that’s why you have to read and understand it first,” he said when featured on RTM’s Selamat Pagi Malaysia programme on TV1 today.

Meanwhile, Sivabalan said the Appeals Committee chaired by the Communications Ministry secretary-general will begin operations soon, which includes looking into cases involving the withdrawal of media accreditation cards issued by JaPen.

“There are two or three cases where we withdraw the accreditation of journalists, and we will allow them to appeal once the committee get down to business,” he said.

The Malaysian Code of Ethics for Journalists, which outlines eight main journalistic ethics, including journalists’ responsibilities to represent a diverse society, being transparent, having integrity and acting fairly in conveying information, was launched by Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil. – Bernama

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