KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 2020 : Members of the Malaysian Media Council pro-tem committee have agreed on six principles of the draft bill for the formation of the council.
The six principles are;
- The scope of the media council shall cover all forms of media including print, broadcast and online and shall cover private as well as public-owned media.
- The media council will not cover individual speech on social media or blogs, for which other laws currently or should cover.
- Participation in the media council will be on a volunteer or opt-in basis, while there will have to be sufficient benefits and incentives for the media industry to participate.
- Laws that curb press freedom or inhibit good journalistic practices will have to be abolished.
- The media council will have a code of conduct for media as well as a proper grievance procedure.
- The media council will also look into the overall sustainability of the media industry, improving journalism standards and media literacy.
Pro-tem chairman Premesh Chandran, said in a statement today that various sub-committees have also been formed to facilitate the setting up of the council.
Pramesh, who is the Malaysiakini news portal chief executive officer said the pro-tem committee, which held its first meeting last Thursday agreed with the six principles for the draft bill.
He said among other matters discussed at the meeting include laws that would need to be abolished or amended and how to incorporate interests of various stakeholders.
He noted that it was affirmed that all parties to be affected by the setting up of the council are in favour of an independent, responsible and professional media industry.
Premesh said the pro-tem committee, which has two months to come up with proposals for a bill to formalise the formation of the council by way of an Act of Parliament would meet again in two weeks.
The council will also function as an ombudsman with regard to public complaints against errant members of the media.