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Reporters must draw a clear line between the truth and flattery in order to fulfil their role as the eyes and ears of society, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan said in Kuching on Friday.
“Do not ‘angkat’ (apple polish) too much. Reporters have to be courageous enough to speak the truth by writing things that reflect the needs from the ground."
“You are part of the forces that could change the society for the better. Whatever it is, just do it because this is for the future of society and Sarawak,” he said at the ‘Full moon and Mid-autumn’ media night organised by the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) youth central.
“Do not be afraid of reporting the truth. Write what you feel is right for the society, for the state so that we can go forward,” he said.
Dr Chan, who is also SUPP president, asserted that reporters should be motivated to initiate positive change for social progress as well as to enhance the general well-being of the various communities.
“What needs to be changed must be changed. News reporting must reflect the feelings of the people on the ground. We want the press to tell us what is going on in Kuching and Sarawak,” he said, adding that the mainstream media still played an important role in today’s world.
He also called on media practitioners, particularly reporters, to be more proactive in discharging their duties so that social and other pertinent issues would not go unreported.
To help realise ‘a perfect future’, he said the media must go the extra mile and be courageous to come up with necessary news reports.
“Young people like you (media members) should be idealistic and want a perfect future, so be serious in your work instead of wasting your time to ‘angkat’,” he said.