21/05/2024 08:17 AM

By Hasnah Jusid

KUALA LUMPUR, May 21 (Bernama) -- The importance of artificial intelligence, or AI, in the field of journalism today cannot be denied, especially in assisting journalists with research and information gathering.

Malaysian Press Institute president, Datuk Yong Soo Heong said that despite AI's capabilities, it cannot replace the role of journalists, who ultimately shape their reports based on information from AI while adhering to journalistic ethics.

"The ability to write or deliver news is our core job as journalists; we cannot pretend and use AI to deceive our bosses.

"Every journalist should be proud of their own abilities. AI is a tool to assist with productivity and research, but in the final article, they must use their skills to create their own work," he told Bernama.

Yong, who is also a former Chief Executive Officer and Editor-in-Chief of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), said media practitioners must be wise in using AI without neglecting journalistic ethics, ensuring that the information provided is based on credible sources in accordance with the new code of journalistic ethics launched in February.

He said that although AI is convenient for media practitioners, it cannot be relied upon 100 per cent and that as emphasised in the code of ethics, journalists should prioritise enhancing their journalistic skills continually.

Meanwhile, veteran journalist G. Manimaran suggested that an ethical framework for AI use be developed at both the media organisation and national levels to prescribe measures for maintaining the quality of journalism in the country.

Manimaran believes this is in line with the current advancements in digital technology and AI, which require the establishment of such an ethical framework for the benefit of all parties involved in the journalism world.

He said the framework should encompass every process in journalistic practice, from gathering input, story production, editing and the distribution of various journalistic products across different platforms today.

"AI is merely a technological advancement and a tool that facilitates the journalistic process but the value of journalism itself cannot be compromised," he said.

He said that despite the potential of technological advancements, including AI, there are many challenges from the perspective of journalistic ethics, such as the lack of transparency in its use and the reliance on AI in fulfilling journalists' duties and responsibilities.

"AI decisions are not always understandable by humans and they can sometimes be prone to inaccuracies, bias and discrimination, which are often overlooked. Not to mention insufficient oversight in the process of gathering input and data," he said.

In conjunction with the National Journalists' Day (HAWANA) 2024, to be held in Kuching, Sarawak from May 25 to 27, a Sarawak Media Conference (SMEC) 2024 themed 'Evolusi Media Dalam Era Digital’ (Media Evolution in the Digital Era) will take place, featuring prominent speakers from both domestic and international backgrounds.

With the theme ‘Etika Teras Kewartanan Mapan’, HAWANA 2024 will be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on May 27.

HAWANA 2024 is the largest gathering of Malaysian journalists, organised by the Ministry of Communications in collaboration with the Sarawak Government, with Bernama as the implementing agency.


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