KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — The National Union of Journalists of Peninsular Malaysia (NUJM) has called for authorities to take action against any party who assaults journalists in the field to prevent the same misconduct from happening again.
This came after two journalists from news portal The Vibes were reportedly involved in a dispute with a former security guard at a branch of the Immigration Department at UTC Pudu on Saturday.
“NUJM would like to stress that if no firm action is taken against any party who threatens or commits physical and verbal violence on media personnel, it is feared that there will be a repeat of such an incident.
“The media is the voice and heart of the people; therefore, preventing media personnel from reporting issues that involve the interests of the country and society is the same as denying the people the right to information,” the group said.
It also urged that the rights of media personnel be upheld by the government and a media council representing all independent organisations be established immediately.
Earlier today, Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) called for laws to protect media personnel in the course of their duties, after the police decided no further action would be taken against those who had reportedly harassed the journalists.
Yesterday, The Vibes reported that its journalists were subjected to verbal intimidation and threats, with a video posted on their Twitter page showing the incident going viral.
Dang Wangi District Police Chief Noor Dellhan Yahaya subsequently was reported as saying that no further action would be taken against those who harassed the journalists as no criminal offence was committed and nobody was assaulted.
He said the police would not be acting on the police report lodged by the reporters, nor recording their statements.
He reportedly said that the journalists can instead refer the case to the magistrate for civil action to be taken.
Related Articles Laws to protect media needed, press group says after cops say no crime committed in altercation against reporters Social media threatening press freedom, says Nobel laureate In Kedah, stepfather suspected of abusing two siblings in Year One and Three