KUALA LUMPUR: Journalists play a superhero-like role in combating the spread of fake news in cyberspace, which is becoming more rampant with the advancement of technology, said Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching.

She said that the role and importance of journalists as a source of reliable information will remain unchanged despite shifts in information delivery patterns following the digital revolution, which includes artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

“It is undeniable that journalists are on the front lines of disseminating authentic and accurate information to the public,” she said when flagging off the National Journalists’ Day (HAWANA) 2023 Media Hunt participants at Wisma Bernama here today.

According to Teo, 49 cases of fake news recorded by the Ministry of Communications and Digital (KKD) between January and April this year were investigated under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

She also expressed her gratitude to journalists for their contributions to ensuring the continued progress and success of Malaysia Madani development plans, including through their constructive criticism, so that the government can provide the best service to the people in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s desire.

On the HAWANA 2023 celebration, Teo expressed her appreciation to the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), as the implementing agency, for working hard to ensure the event’s success with the support of local and international media organisations and sponsors.

Earlier, Teo flagged off 30 vehicles carrying 120 participants from various media agencies, who will be taken to several historical and heritage sites in Perak.

The treasure hunt offers prizes up to tenth place, with the first place receiving RM4,000, second place (RM2,500), and third place (RM1,500).

The three-day HAWANA 2023 celebration, with the theme Media Bebas, Tunjang Demokrasi (Free Media, Pillar of Democracy), which aims to re-emphasise the issue of media freedom for journalists in carrying out their duties, began today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is scheduled to grace the highlight of the celebration tomorrow.

The date May 29 was gazetted as National Journalists’ Day in conjunction with the publication of the first edition of the Malay newspaper, Utusan Melayu, on May 29, 1939. - Bernama