Can social media posts intimidate journalists and undermine the principles of press freedom?

By Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye


KOTA KINABALU: I join all Malaysians in congratulating journalists celebrating National Journalists Day, which falls on May 29.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure and privilege of observing mainstream journalists at work in the Malay, English, Chinese, and Tamil media.

They have provided us with up-to-date news and views, without which we would have been like Katak di bawah tempurung.

On a daily basis, journalists overcome numerous challenges to keep us informed, educated, and even entertained.

The challenges they face have increased many times in recent years, especially since the advent of social media.

The misinformation and fake news that are prevalent on some social media platforms have made it challenging for mainstream journalists to distinguish between credible sources and unreliable information.

Many people now rely on social media as their primary source of news, often consuming information that is biassed and misleading.

This exposure can erode trust in mainstream journalism and undermine its role as a trusted source of information.

Some social media posts can intimidate journalists and undermine the principles of press freedom.

These challenges highlight the complex and evolving relationship between mainstream journalism and social media, shaping the way journalists gather, report, and distribute news in the digital age.

Of course, social media has also created an overwhelming amount of credible information. Journalists must navigate through a never-ending stream of updates, tweets, posts, and videos to find newsworthy content.

Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have also aided traditional journalists to follow trends, track developments, and follow potential story leads.

Overall, social media has transformed the landscape of journalism, offering new opportunities and challenges for mainstream journalists.

Happy National Journalists Day to all the dedicated and passionate journalists! Your commitment to truth and integrity, even in the face of challenges, enriches our society every day.

We celebrate and honour your vital contributions to democracy, justice, social cohesion, and nation-building.

Thank you for all you do! Happy National Journalists Day!

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