Friday, April 04, 2008

[Bernama] Special Segment On TV For Bloggers Every Sunday

The following article is taken from the Web Portal of Bernama.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 (Bernama) -- The Information Ministry will create a special segment on RTM's news bulletin every Sunday for bloggers to directly comment on issues.

Its minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the 20-minute programme, starting on April 20, would be broadcast on RTM1 as one of the segments of Warta Perdana, the prime news bulletin.

He said the special segment was created not just to provide an avenue for bloggers to voice their opinions on various issues, but also to prove the government's openness in dealing with the alternative media.

"As stated before, the ministry would be more open with the alternative media, so we decided to have this special slot for bloggers, to discuss current issues or issues they wish to raise.

"I believe this is a step forward which the people have been waiting for and welcome," he told a press conference at his office in Angkasapuri here Thursday.

Ahmad Shabery said the decision also showed that the government had always been confident of the people's mandate all this while, hence showing the strength of the government which needed not worry and hide its motives in whatever situation.

On the selection of bloggers to be interviewed, he said this would be determined by the RTM selection panel from time to time, depending on the issue to be discussed.

"We look at the issue, not the personality. Besides the well-known bloggers, we will also feature new ones. We leave it to RTM, this is not for the ministry to decide."

On the possibility of the guest commentators (bloggers) getting out of control or speaking with no restraint, he believed they would follow the rules of conduct set.

But the ministry's openness would indirectly encourage the bloggers interviewed to be more responsible with what they posted on the Internet, he said.

"This is a process of educating the public, that the government’s openness should be viewed positively. This is an avenue for them to convey their feelings and opinions in a courteous way. I am confident the bloggers will respect this openness."

Ahmad Shabery also announced the cabinet's decision to broadcast live the question-and-answer session in Parliament every day of the parliamentary sitting from April 30.

He said the matter was agreed upon by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz and the other cabinet ministers at their meeting on Wednesday.

"The 30-minute programme featuring the question-and-answer session will begin at 10am on each day of parliamentary sitting.

"We view the cabinet's willingness to allow the live broadcast as indicative of the government's increasing confidence, openness and transparency as promised to the people."

He said the programme would be aired by RTM1, while the Klasik Nasional radio channel would include interviews with parliamentarians, including from the opposition.


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