30 senior journalists honoured
Published on: Saturday, September 02, 2017
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Kota Kinabalu: About 30 members of the Kota Kinabalu Journalist Association who have spent more than 25 years in the industry received awards for their dedication to the craft at KKJA's silver jubilee Thursday night. Overseas Chinese Daily News (OCDN) Chief Editor Hii Yuk Seng, a former teacher, was among them, having served for 51 years and is still working at 75.

Daily Express Chief Editor James Sarda who started his career in the National Echo as a reporter before moving to the Star (both in KL) and later Daily Express was also honoured for putting in 37 years.

Other Daily Express staff who also put in more than 30 years included Chief Sub-Editor Soo Yee Hie, Special Writer Mary Chin, Photographer Jimmy Goh and Sub-Editor Alex Ong.

KKJA also presented the award to a respected veteran in the industry – the late Lai Su Chong of Asia Times – who passed away at the age of 78 on May 16 last year.

KKJA Chairman Yong Ted Phen, who also received the award, said the long service award aimed at recognising reporters and editors who have remained committed and dedicated to this line of work.

"For the past 25 years, KKJA has been actively safeguarding our members' interests and maintaining good relationship with local government and community leaders.

"The award aims to honour their perseverance and contributions to the community and readers.

At the same time, we hope that the veterans could inspire young reporters and editors to demonstrate high commitment and professionalism in their jobs," he said.

Yong advised journalists to be well prepared for the inevitable changes brought about by ever-changing technology in order to remain relevant.

"We have entered the age of new media with the advancement of information technology.

The emergence of social and digital media have transformed the way conventional media operate.

"Conventional media now have to embrace technology and deliver breaking news instantly to our readers via social media or website.

"More importantly, we have to uphold 'Accuracy, Objectivity and Impartiality' in reporting," he said.

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Niosh) Chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who was instrumental in getting the KKJA registered in 1991, said he was glad to see that many of KKJA's members have been committed to their profession despite the various challenges faced by the industry.

"Although 25 years is not considered a long time, it is not easy for an association to remain active all this while," he said.

He said the role of journalists can never be underestimated, especially in the current social media age, to uncover truths and to report them in a rational and objective manner, especially sensitive topics.

He also said in the course of his work as a politician and role in agencies and NGOs, he had to rely on journalists to convey his messages and they did it admirably.

Lee also urged media practitioners to be aware of their personal safety, especially when covering breaking news and disasters.

He said Niosh, which he heads, will organise occupational safety and health (OSH) talks for journalists through its Kota Kinabalu office as the institute has organised similar OSH training in Sabah in the past.

Among those present at the event were Minister of Special Tasks to Chief Minister's Department Datuk Teo Chee Kang, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Edward Yong and Sabah Publishing House Sdn Bhd Managing Director Datuk Clement Yeh. - Cynthia D Baga



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