Veteran journalist hopes Hawana 2024 will have lasting impact

KUCHING: A veteran newsman hopes that the 2024 National Journalists' Day (Hawana 2024), slated for May 25 to 27 here, will leave a lasting impact on the journalism landscape in the country.

Utusan Sarawak editorial executive advisor Kadir Dikoh said understanding the importance of journalists in nation-building should not only be confined during the celebration period.

"I hope this Hawana can do something to reform journalism overall, not only here (in Sarawak), but also throughout (the country). There should be follow-up programmes, maybe like a session between journalists and all government departments," he said.

Speaking to Bernama here, the former Berita Harian associate editor also said investigative journalism was one of the aspects that needed to be improved on, in order for media practitioners to contribute effectively.

"At the same time, they (journalists) can send a message to the authorities, not to be too shy, or too secretive when journalists ask for information. Give a little bit of leeway... don't be too secretive," he said.

Having been in the journalism industry since the early 1980s, Kadir said the current crop of journalists faced the added challenge of keeping up with the rapidly-evolving technological landscape, which demanded them to continuously update and upgrade their knowledge.

He said artificial intelligence (AI) was just one of the many challenges journalists had to face.

"It could be a tool they could benefit from, if they have enough knowledge to master it.

"I believe AI will be one of the issues that will be highlighted in this Hawana. At the same time, I do hope media, or communications schools at universities will take it a step further, and introduce AI as one of their core subjects," he added.

With the theme 'Etika Teras Kewartawanan Mapan', more than 1,000 media practitioners, representatives from local journalists' associations, and media reps from Asean member countries have been invited to attend Hawana 2024, which serves as an important platform for the professional media fraternity and industry experts to exchange ideas and form strategic partnerships.

Malaysia's largest annual gathering of journalists is organised by the Communications Ministry, in collaboration with the Sarawak government, while Bernama is the implementing agency. – Bernama

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