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KUALA LUMPUR: Journalists should be knowledgeable in the various fields to face the demands of the mass media in the future, said Senate president Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang.
He said among the nuggets of knowledge which a journalist required included the nation's system, constitution and laws of the country.
"With such information, a journalist can counter the alternative media's constant accusations against the country.
"With the explosion of the information technology, the world has become so small, so close and everyone can communicate with each other.
"With the internet, there is nowhere to hide, cyber space is open. It was different the last time...there was no FB (Facebook) and Twitter," he added.
Abu Zahar said this in his speech, 'Malaysian Parliament - Supremacy and Slavery in Democracy' to 25 participants of the 1Malaysia Young Journalists Fellowship at the Parliament building recently.
He believed that journalism could play a major role in shaping development and national unity in the country.
"What is most important is unity. Without it, when small things happen, we can quarrel among ourselves. This is why Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak introduced the 1Malaysia Concept for independence," he said.
Abu Zahar said journalists should instill a spirit of patriotism to build a high level of loyalty to race and nation.
"Journalists should obtain the correct information for their news and not depend on mere rumours," he said.
Abu Zahar said the people should learn from the May 13, 1969 episode, which created chaos and loss of life until a state of emergency was declared in the nation.
"When the May 13 incident occurred, I was working as a police officer. Based on my experience, I want to remind that the people of this country should respect each other and not make any statement which could incite racial tension," he said. - BERNAMA