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Bernama editor-in-chief Khairdzir retires after 37 years' service

24/06/2022 10:25 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 (Bernama) -- Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) editor-in-chief Khairdzir Md Yunus goes on mandatory retirement today after an illustrious career spanning 37 years.

Khairdzir, who was born in Batu Kikir, Negeri Sembilan, joined Bernama as a news executive on Oct 1, 1985 after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree (Population Studies) from Universiti Malaya (UM).

Khairdzir, 60, had held various posts including Kedah bureau chief, press secretary to former Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain, Bernama correspondent in Jakarta, Bahasa Melayu chief sub-editor and deputy editor-in-chief (Business and Finance), before he was appointed as editor-in-chief in December last year.

“In Bernama, we work our way up. Although I was appointed as editor-in-chief towards the end (of my service), I started as an ordinary reporter 37 years ago. So, I have gained a wide range of experience.

“Bernama is definitely a good institution for learning, as we are exposed to a multitude of experiences. There are all sorts of tales to tell regarding our unforgettable moments,” he said in an interview.

Asked on his most unforgettable experience at work, Khairdzir said it was about covering a rioting by inmates in Pudu Prison, which forced the Bernama team to spend the night on the five-foot way outside the prison premises to keep up with the latest developments.

Khairdzir, who also has a Master’s in Business Administration from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), was among a select group of journalists involved in covering the signing of the peace agreement between the Malaysian government and the Communist Party of Malaya.

He had also met former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi when covering then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s visit to that country.

“While serving as correspondent in Jakarta for three years from 1995 to 1998, I witnessed the downfall of President Suharto in the 90s when a world economic crisis undermined the stability of many countries including Indonesia.

“In 1998, racial riots broke out in that country, and major unrests unfolded before my own eyes. In fact, for the safety of my family, I had to send my wife and our three young children back to Malaysia on a military aircraft provided by the Malaysian government,” he said.

Touching on Bernama’s move going forward, he said the national news agency could not deny the importance of new platforms like social media but should be creative in finding ways to harness its strength in disseminating information.

He said society especially the younger generation was now turning to social media as an alternative channel for getting facts and information, apart from traditional media like newspapers, television and radio.

“So, Bernama should not merely regard this as competition but should also start exploring new methods or platforms for disseminating news.

"Bernama is still regarded as a news agency disseminating authentic information or facts, but we must also strive to be creative to attract the younger group, particularly those who are increasingly interested in the social media platform,” he said.

As his parting shot, Khairdzir advised Bernama journalists to maintain quality in the news they produced so that the national news agency would preserve its unique position in the news industry.


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