The practice of offering money to journalists present during a press conference must be totally eradicated in order to develop a truly independent and neutral media.
Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) condemns the practice of “envelope journalism” as a clear attempt to bribe the media on duty to cover an event.
Individuals, groups, parties or any other organisations who still engage in such a practice should realise that it can be viewed as a bribery attempt. More than that, such attempts will not help the Malaysian media to become truly independent and free to report in an accurate, objective and balanced manner.
Although we note that this ‘culture’ has been practised over the years, Geramm hereby urges all parties, including journalists and media practitioners, to adhere to the basic principles of journalism ethics which includes rejecting any form of financial gratification from sources. Such gratification would not only tarnish our personal integrity, but also the overall credibility of a media organisation.
Any attempt by any parties to offer a ‘reward’ to the media must be rejected and should be exposed through ‘the power of the pen’ in our hands. We must realise that no amount of money should be able to pay for the price of freedom to produce an accurate and fair report. Do not allow our integrity and credibility to be ‘bought’ by parties who do not respect the principles of a free and fair media.