1. What does it mean to be a journalist in Malaysia?
I believe, generally, journalists are still held in high regard, and their profession is well-respected in the country.
Personally, from experience (as I came upon the profession by chance), being a journalist allows you access to a wide scope of subject matters and field experts – makes the daily routine a tad more interesting and exciting.
2. Moving forward, how do you expect media freedom to evolve in Malaysia?
With the advent of information & communications technology (ICT), I believe the online media will get to exercise more media freedom in reporting, compared to the conventional print publications and broadcast channels, as the latter’s very existence will continue to be strictly licensed, governed and bound by the regulations dictated by the Malaysian Government.
3. What can we do to improve media freedom?
To improve on media freedom, the media practitioners themselves must comprehend the vital roles they play, as the Fourth Estate, or the Fourth Pillar of Democracy, as well as in shaping and influencing the state of affairs of the civil society at large – and thereafter, be vocal about the importance of media freedom to sustain such objective roles.
Organically, media practitioners must not bow to pressures from their own company owners and shareholders.
4. What can we do to ensure media freedom?
Simply continue to be vocal, and refused to be heavy-handedly silenced about anything.
The #MYMediaMatters campaign is part of a multi-year project, Strengthening Malaysia’s Media for Change, supported by the European Union. For details please see the IFJ project page.