KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — Mainstream media companies in the country are advised to consider creating a new business model to ensure the continuity of their operations in line with the challenges of digitalisation that are threatening the industry to some extent.

National Journalism Laureate Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar said media companies must be bolder in exploring new business opportunities to add to existing sources of income other than just relying on revenue from news reporting alone.

“...we accept the fact that this (media) industry is under an extraordinary state of siege. This means that the existing business model or system is sometimes not sustainable, media companies are now starting to feel they need to diversify to ensure sustainability.

“For example, there is a media company that is now involved in farming, something that we could not have imagined.


“Media companies need to ensure that their employees get the best welfare and we do not deny that and it can be negotiated. But what really worries me is that in recent years, hundreds and even thousands of media workers have lost their jobs,” he said.

He said this while appearing on Bernama TV’s ‘The Nation’ programme in conjunction with the pre-launch ceremony of the 2023 National Journalists’ Day (Hawana 2023) today.

Johan also suggested that any act or legislation that was seen or interpreted as restricting media freedom should be re-evaluated to ensure that it was appropriate and relevant in today’s times.


“We cannot control social media, there is no government in the world that can control social media. We can have any Act, but the fact is that we are dealing with a platform that is quite extraordinary in terms of the number of users, such that it is not possible to control.

“But let’s not create this (control) in the mainstream media,” he said.

Commenting on this year’s Hawana this year, the National Journalism icon said it was the highest recognition for media practitioners, the media industry and the ecosystem that allowed them to operate ‘without fear or favour’.

“The government should play a role to give us space to work and at the same time we should play a role to contribute to the welfare and development process of the country,” he said. — Bernama