Once again, Malaysia's media practitioners have been urged to form a press council to regulate issues relating to publication and news reporting such as plagiarism, lies and the refusal of columnists or reporters to apologise for their mistakes, irrespective of whether done on purpose or otherwise.
According to deputy internal security minister, Datuk Fu Ah Kiow, the press council could help solve problems on irregularities among media practitioners.
Yes, there is a need for self-regulating mechanism to ensure that reporters perform their duties and responsibilities professionally, ethically and within the boundaries of the law. The press council, first proposed by former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak three decades ago, would enable the enforcement of the profession's code of ethics.
Of late, the Malaysian media was marred by plagiarism and incorrect reporting by a certain mainstream media. In one particular case, the writer refused to apologise for his wrong reporting involving the prime minister and former prime minister, what a shame!
The integrity of the profession has to be enhanced, protected and supported by positive values such as accountability and transparency and the press council is the answer.
It is the responsibility of the media, print, electronic and internet to initiate the formation of the press council and the government should not interfere or be the force behind the council.