Sabah govt raises Kinabalu Press Awards contribution to recognise role of media, says Hajiji

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has raised its annual contribution to the Kinabalu Press Awards from RM60,000 to RM100,000 because it recognises the important role of mainstream media, says Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor (pic).

“I am happy the media in Sabah have carried out their duties with pride and honour.

“Most importantly, they have provided news coverage responsibly and professionally,” said the Chief Minister.

He said the State Government had always recognised the mainstream media as an important partner in helping to disseminate information on government policies and development in the state.

Hajiji added that the media was the bridge between the government and the rakyat and then said that it was very important that factual information was shared through their work.

Hajiji said this at the Kinabalu Press Awards organised by the Sabah Journalists Association (SJA) in collaboration with the State Government, Shell Malaysia and Petronas at the Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa near here on Friday (Dec 10).

He said while online media and social platforms had been misused, the mainstream media helps in righting wrongs.

With regards to the difficulties faced by media companies due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Hajiji urged employers to retain their employees while re-looking media business models.

“I believe it is still a lucrative business and it is a matter of packaging your content to draw your readers and advertisers,” he said.

Earlier, Sabah Journalist Association chairman Datuk Muguntan Vanar thanked the state government for looking out for the media’s interests during the pandemic by giving out B40 aids and early vaccinations for media personnel, among others.

He hoped media companies would be realistic and kind in cost cutting measures especially because the mainstream media continued to play an important role in providing factual and balanced reporting, especially at a time when half-truths and false news is spread easily via social media.

“To me and many of us in the mainstream media, we should strive to remain a reliable source of information,” he said.