KOTA KINABALU: The National Journalist Day (HAWANA) 2022 is an acknowledgement for the institution of professional journalism in Malaysia, said Utusan Borneo Sabah Editor-in-Chief, Lichong Angkui.
He said this year’s HAWANA, being held for the second time after its inaugural event in 2018, is a platform to uphold the principles and ethics of true journalism in the onslaught of social media in the borderless virtual space.
He said journalism in the country is able to survive and maintain its integrity despite facing various challenges such as the political crisis and the economic crisis after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is actually the manifestation of HAWANA 2022 which not only recognises the roles and contributions of journalists, but also push the Malaysian journalism institution to the highest level,” he said.
Lichong, who is a member of BERNAMA Board of Governors and also of the HAWANA 2022 committee, said journalism in the country generally adhered to the principle of press freedom, thus making it relevant at all times.
He said the pragmatic nature of journalism institutions is the best platform in dealing with the challenges of untrue reports or fake news.
“Therefore, the gathering of Malaysian journalists at HAWANA 2022 in Melaka this time is a witness to the strength of journalism institutions in the country in the context of true professionalism,” he said.
Lichong, who attended the National Press Day (HPN) in Padang and Surabaya, Indonesia in 2018 and 2019, said this time round HAWANA will see the largest gathering of journalists nationwide after the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, HAWANA with various contents related to media and journalism is symbolic of the joint determination to raise the level and dignity of this profession.
“Of course, the great role of this journalism institution is acknowledged and recognised as a catalyst for the nation’s development agenda in developing countries such as Malaysia,” he said, while welcoming the presence of 17 key Indonesian media leaders to HAWANA 2022 in Melaka.