Power to the People: Youth Truth News Returns

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Guest speakers (left to right) Nicholas Vincent, Harish Mustak, Peggy Loh, Salamahafifi Yusnaieny and Balbeer Singh Jessy

Educating youths and adults alike with what it means to be responsible journalists

In this rapidly changing mediascape many of us dwell in, we have experienced the rise of Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp in bringing information to our fingertips at instantaneous speed. When someone grumbles about traffic or shares a link to their favourite lontong stall, this information can be perceived as news and has brought about the rise of citizen journalism whether we are aware of it or not.

“Youth Truth News Citizen Journalism Course” returned for its second series on the 24th of August organised by The Iskandarian, Iskandar Malaysia’s official newspaper and proudly supported by Johor Bahru Collective Media (JOCOM) in an effort to educate and stir the hearts of budding journalists and participants alike on what it means to be part of this mediascape.

Group photo with several of the participants

“Rome was not built in a day, we must learn to walk before we can run,” could be heard in the hall of IskandarSpace, a co-working facility nestled in Afiniti Medini, Iskandar Puteri, where the course was held. These were words of wisdom from Peggy Loh, veteran journalist and author of ‘My Johor Stories’ as she shared her trials and tribulations of becoming the darling of Johor journalism she is today to the twenty participants listening eagerly in hopes of spurring more writers to take up the pen.

Building on the previous speech of writing was Salamahafifi Yusnaieny, a journalist from The Iskandarian and author of ‘A Nobody’s Observation’ as she engaged with participants on being open minded, having good journalism ethics and encouraged them to always take a step back to be receptive of the multiple facets of someone’s opinion – No matter how jarring or disrespectful it might seem as many are quick to be biased on their own assumptions.

Attendees listening intently to presentation from Balbeer Singh on the legality of publications

Moving on to the legality of publications was Balbeer Singh Jessy, Head of the Department of Legal & Secretarial Services at Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) who touched upon the multiple laws and acts that directly or indirectly affect publications especially when they touch on royalty, religion and racial topics such as the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 (PPPA) and the more recent Anti-Fake News Act 2018 (AFNA). He expressly mentioned that disseminating WhatsApp or Facebook posts that infringe any of these laws can be punishable by law and one cannot feign ignorance if such incidences occur.

The photojournalism session was led by Nicholas Vincent from NWorks Studio, a certified Master Photographer from the Master Photographers Association (MPA) who illuminated the floor regarding the nuances of photography and its relation to photojournalism. Giving tips on how to take better photographs on smartphones for those without access to DSLR cameras and the ethics of photojournalism, the presentation rounded up with a practical session where participants had a hands-on experience.

Participants honing their camera skills in a practical session

The Citizen Journalism course ended with a closing speech from Harish Mustak, the Editorial Coordinator from The Iskandarian who then presented the certificates of participation to the attendees. For those that missed out on this informative session, there is another upcoming session free of charge in October with the following details:

Date: 19 October 2019 (Saturday)

Time: 9.00am – 4.00pm

Venue: IskandarSpace, Iskandar Puteri in Johor Bahru

For RSVP, kindly email to harish@theiskandarian.com