The annual World Press Freedom Day is drawing near on May 3. This year, the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) is organizing a two-day event inviting Malaysians to shape the road map to media freedom. If, as people say, all roads lead to Rome, what sort of direction would you, as Malaysians, want to see the media take? How do the stakeholders, i.e media practitioners, and political leaders see the future of media freedom in Malaysia post election?
This will be a two-day get together to discuss, give input, and engage with opinion-makers on reclaiming media freedom. There will be public talks, workshop, exhibition, wall-painting, survey and activities to spell out the path(s) towards a future of media freedom. Here is the highlights of the main events:
Public talk I- Towards Ethical Media
The public rejection of the mainstream media (MSM), the shift towards alternative media during the elections, and the recent boycottof the MSM organized by the People's Parliament can be read as an angry response over perceived unethical and unprofessional media coverage. Most common, the complaint was around biasness and media blackout of the opposition. With the opposition currently receiving relatively more and prominent coverage in MSM due to their big time electoral victory, does it mean that the public has no more reason to be critical of the MSM?
The discussion would take advantage of the spark already ignited to heighten the public awareness on what constitutes ethical media practices, so that participants can move beyond the awareness of biasness and media blackout and are capable of assessing both the MSM and alternative media from a broad ethical perspective. Rather than boycotting the MSM, the discussion encourages an active and discerning media user who embraces both types of media and yet critical of them.
Time: 12:30- 2:00pm
Speakers: Zainon Ahmad, Jacquelin Ann Surin, Wan Hamidi Hamid
Moderator: Gayathry Venkiteswaran
Public talk II- Towards Media and Information Law Reform
The electoral results opened many windows of opportunity for legislative reform in the area of media and access to information. While many may think that changes at best can only happen in the opposition controlled states, the discussion attempts to impart information on various mechanisms available in introducing and pushing for nationwide legislative reform, specifically on free media and access to information. Participants will be also getting an idea of CIJ's commitment to media and information law reform and lobbying work.
Speakers: YB Teo Nie Ching, Andrew Khoo Chin Hock, HR Dipendra
Moderator: Wong Chin Huat
Don't miss out on the weekend space for you to chart the course for the media you want!