COVID-19 Pandemic in Malaysia: Managing Infodemic through Press Council

(Pandemik COVID-19 di Malaysia: Mengurus Infodemik melalui Majlis Akhbar)

  • Hafidz Hakimi Haron Fakulti Undang-undang, Universiti Multimedia
  • Mahyuddin Daud Kulliyyah Undang-undang Ahmad Ibrahim, Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia

Abstract

The online dissemination of fake news and disinformation phenomenon has become increasingly rampant as the world continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic. The overabundance of available information on a subject matter, known as infodemic, has negatively affected the effort to fight the pandemic. The phenomenon of infodemic has also amplified anxiety and mistrust among the people against the authorities' effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Strict legal actions have been taken by the authorities in their crusade against the infodemic. Regardless, these actions have been construed by critics as being ineffective, draconian, and undemocratic. Thus, the main objective of this study is to re-evaluate the effectiveness of existing related laws in Malaysia that make it difficult to regulate infodemic. This study also proposes the establishment of a Press Council to curb misinformation and manage infodemic. To achieve the research objective, this study adopts a qualitative methodology in formulating its findings, which is mainly through textual analysis of legislations as well as semi-structured interviews.


Keywords: Constitutional law, freedom of speech, freedom of press, media laws, Media Council, infodemic

References

Abdul Fatai Sambo, & Farid Sufian Shuaib. (2012). The rights and duties of journalists in a constitutional democracy: An analytical exposition. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 6(11): 145-52.

Ahmed, Sameera Tahira. (2020). Managing news overload (MNO): The COVID-19 infodemic. Information (Switzerland), 11(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/INFO11080375.

Akoje, Topic Peremobowei & Mohd Helmi Abd Rahim. (2014). Development of Journalism Ethics: A Comparative Analysis of Codes of Ethics in Nigeria, United Kingdom, United States of America, India and Russia. Jurnal Komunikasi, Malaysian Journal of Communication, 30(2), 221-38. https://doi.org/10.17576/jkmjc-2014-3002-12

"Arbitration." IMPRESS. Accessed September 20, 2019. https://impress.press/regulation/arbitration.html

ARTICLE 19. (2020). Malaysia: Stop Using Repressive Laws to Counter Misinformation about Coronavirus. Article 19. Diakses daripada https://www.article19.org/resources/malaysia-stop-using-repressive-laws-to-counter-misinformation-about-coronavirus/

Bernama. (2020). Proposed Media Council Draft Bill, Report Submitted to Ministry.Free Malaysia Today. Diakses daripada https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2020/09/05/proposed-media-council-draft-bill-report-submitted-to-ministry/

Bertrand, Claude-jean. (1997). Quality control: Media ethics and accountability systems. Presses Universitaires de France.

Bertrand, Claude-Jean. (2018). Media Ethics and Accountability Systems. 1st ed. Routledge. Diakses daripada https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351289641.

Brothers, Emily, Douglas Wilson, Bob Littler, Reiner Luyken, Ahmed Mian, Robert Bray, & Linda Pearson. (2015). Ipso Has Failed to Hold the Press to Account. The Guardian. September 7. Diakses daripada https://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/sep/07/ipso-has-failed-to-hold-the-press-to-account

Centre of Independent Journalism. (2019). Media Council. CIJ. Diakses daripada http://cijmalaysia.org/miniportal/2010/09/media-council/

Chamil Wariya. (2017). Isu-isu semasa kewartawanan & media: Krisis dan strategi. Malaysian Press Institute.

Chamil Wariya. (2017). Krisis dan strategi: Cabaran kewartawanan dan media era digital. Malaysian Press Institute.

Cohen-Almagor, Raphael. (2014). Press self-regulation in Britain: A critique. Science and Engineering Ethics 21(1), 159-81. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11948-014-9538-8

Emma Mohamad, Jen Sern Tham, Suffian Hadi Ayub, Mohammad Rezal Hamzah, Hasrul Hashim & Arina Anis Azlan. (2020). Relationship between COVID-19 information sources and attitudes in battling the pandemic among the Malaysian public: Cross-sectional survey study. Journal of Medical Internet Research,22(11), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.2196/23922

Farid Sufian Shuaib & Hafidz Hakimi Haron. The continuing saga of the proposed Malaysian press council: A boone or bane? [2019] 4 MLJ Cxxvii. Malayan Law Journal 4 (2019): cxxvii.

Faruqi, Shad Saleem. (2008). Document of destiny: The Constitution of the Federation of Malaysia. 1st Editio. Star Publications (Malaysia) Bhd.

Fielden, Lara. (2013). A royal charter for the press: Lessons from oerseas. Journal of Media Law, 5(2), 172-88. https://doi.org/10.5235/17577632.5.2.172.

Fielden, Lara. (2012). Regulating the press: A comparative study of international press councils. Diakses daripada http://www.theacademiclibrary.com/login_cat.asp?filename=0745311989%5Cnhttp://www.theacademiclibrary.com/login_cat.asp?filename=0745311989& libcode=PLC

Hafidz Hakimi Haron. (2020). The Malaysian Press Council: Towards striking a balance between public interest and freedom of press. International Islamic University Malaysia.

Hafidz Hakimi Haron, Farid Sufian Shuaib & Nadiah Arsat. (2020). Some like it hoax: Lessons in regulating fake news in Malaysia. International Conferance on Communication and Media, Sintok.

Harris Zainul. (2020). Malaysia's infodemic and policy response. ISIS Policy Brief, no. 2-20 (2020): 1-4. Diakses daripada https://www.isis.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/POLICY-BRIEF_MALAYSIA-INFODEMIC-AND-POLICY-RESPONSE.pdf.

Harris Zainul. (2020). Strategic and international studies (ISIS) Malaysia. Diakses daripada https://www.isis.org.my/2020/04/15/media-freedom-and-fake-news-during-the-time-of-covid-19/

Himelboim, Itai, & Yehiel Limor. (2008). Media perception of freedom of the press: A Ccomparative international analysis of 242 Codes of Ethics. Journalism, 9(3), 235-65.

Human Rights Watch. (2015). Creating a culture of fear: The criminilization of peaceful expression in Malaysia. Diakses daripada https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/malaysia1015_4up_0_0.pdf

IMPRESS. (2020). COVID-19. IMPRESS. https://www.impress.press/standards/covid19.html#note.

IMPRESS. (2020). IPSO Blog: Update on IPSO's Covid-19 reporting monitor and services. IMPRESS. Diakses daripadahttps://www.ipso.co.uk/news-press-releases/blog/ipso-blog-update-on-ipso-s-covid-19-reporting-monitor-and-services/

IMPRESS. Standards Code. IMPRESS. Diakses pada 20 Ogos 2019 daripada https://impress.press/standards/.Independent Press Standards Organisation. Editors' Code.

Independent Press Standards Organisation. Diakses pada 1 September 2019 daripada https://www.ipso.co.uk/faqs/editors-code/.

International Federation of Journalists. (2020). Malaysia: Journalist charged for coronavirus Facebook posts. International Federation of Journalists.Diakses daripada https://www.ifj.org/media-centre/news/detail/category/press-releases/article/malaysia-journalist-charged-for-coronavirus-facebook-posts.html.

Jawatankuasa Petugas Mengkaji Cadangan Penubuhan Majlis Media Malaysia. (2001). Cadangan Penubuhan Majlis Media Malaysia. Diakses daripada http://mpi.my/wp/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Cadangan-Penubuhan-Majlis-Media-Malaysia.pdf.

Mahyuddin Daud. (2019). Internet content regulation: Contemporary legal and regulatory issues in the changing digital landscape. IIUM Press.

Mahyuddin Daud & Sonny Zulhuda. (2020). Regulating the spread of false content online in Malaysia: Issues, challenges and the way forward. International Journal of Business and Society, 21(S1), 32-48.

Manzor Zulkifli. (2021). 275 Kertas siasatan berita palsu COVID-19. Kosmo! Diakses daripada https://www.kosmo.com.my/2021/01/14/275-kertas-siasatan-berita-palsu-covid-19/

Merican, Ahmad Murad. (2013). Kematangan wartawan, Majlis Akhbar. Utusan Malaysia. January 29. Diakses daripada http://library.kehakiman.gov.my/digital/2013/JANUARI/UM/UM_29_JAN_2013_003.pdf

Merican, Ahmad Murad. (2018). Mentakrif semula kewartawanan. Sinar Harian. Diakses daripada http://www.sinarharian.com.my/mobile/karya/pendapat/mentakrif-semula-kewartawanan-1.897915?fbclid=IwAR0IQh4OzYiLdiZ263NBpV_gGCxMDZRr8UrFOusBi3JdpAPq8fYg8bIg0p8

Mohd Safar Hashim. (2002). Mengenali undang-undang media dan siber. 1st Edition. Utusan Publication & Distributors Sdn Bhd.

Mohd Safar Hashim & Merican, Ahmad Murad. (2002). The formation of a media council: The experience of Malaysia. Jurnal Komunikasi.

Newman, Nic, Richard Fletcher, Anne Schulz, Simge And─▒ & Rasmus Kleis Nielsen. (2020). Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2020. Diakses daripada https://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2020-06/DNR_2020_FINAL.pdf.

Nordheim, Gerret von, Karin Boczek & Lars Koppers. (2018). Sourcing the sources: An analysis of the use of Twitter and Facebook as a journalistic source over 10 years in The New York Times, The Guardian, and S├╝ddeutsche Zeitung. Digital Journalism, 6(7), 807-28. Diakses daripada https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2018.1490658.

Pakatan Harapan. Buku harapan. (2018). Rebuilding our nation fulfilling our hopes. Pakatan Harapan. Diakses daripada http://kempen.s3.amazonaws.com/manifesto/Manifesto_text/Manifesto_PH_EN.pdf

Press Recognition Panel. (2016). PRP Board decision in respect of the application for recognition from IMPRESS: The Independent Monitor of the Press CIC 25 October 2016. London. .

Radu, Roxana. (2020). Fighting the 'infodemic': Legal responses to COVID-19 disinformation. Social Media and Society, 6(3). https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305120948190

Randhawa, Sonia, Pauline Puah & Susan Loone. (2005). Freedom of expression and the media. Baseline Studies on Seven Southeast Asian Countries. London. Diakses daripada http://medcontent.metapress.com/index/A65RM03P4874243N.pdf.

Tangcharoensathien, Viroj, Neville Calleja, Tim Nguyen, Tina Purnat, Marcelo D'Agostino, Sebastian Garcia-Saiso & Mark Landry. (2020). Framework for Managing the COVID-19 Infodemic: Methods and Results of an Online, Crowdsourced Who Technical Consultation. Journal of Medical Internet Research,22(6), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.2196/19659

The Star. Group Urges Govt to Stop Using Criminal Proceedings Against Covid-19. The Star Online. (2020). Diakses daripada https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/03/24/group-urges-govt-to-stop-using-criminal-proceedings-against-covid-19-misinformation

The Star. (2020). M'Sian Media Council : 17 Appointed as pro-Tem Committee Members. The Star. Diakses daripada https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2020/01/16/msian-media-council-17-appointed-as-pro-tem-committee-members

Tuneva, Marina. (2020). Guidelines for Safe and Professional Reporting on the Coronavirus. Skopje.

Tuneva, Marina. (2020). The critical role of press and media councils in time of COVID-19. Macedonia. Diakses daripada https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/critical_role_press_media_councils_covid19.pdf

UNESCO. (2020). UNESCO Welcomes Press Councils' Call for Professional Reporting on COVID-19 in South East Europe. UNESCO. Diakses daripada https://en.unesco.org/news/unesco-welcomes-press-councils-call-professional-reporting-covid-19-south-east-europe

UNESCO. (2020). UNESCO Welcomes Press Councils' Call for Professional Reporting on COVID-19 in South East Europe. UNESCO.

Wahl-Jorgensen, K. (2020). Advice for journalists covering Covid-19: Welsh NHS Confederation. IMPRESS. Diakses daripada http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/130629.

World Health Organization. (2020). Managing the COVID-19 Infodemic: Promoting healthy behaviours and mitigating the harm from misinformation and disinformation. World Health Organization. Diakses daripada https://www.who.int/news/item/23-09-2020-managing-the-covid-19-infodemic-promoting-healthy-behaviours-and-mitigating-the-harm-from-misinformation-and-disinformation%0Ahttps://www.who.int/news-room/detail/23-09-2020-managing-the-covid-19-infodemic-promotin
Published
2021-07-05
How to Cite
HARON, Hafidz Hakimi; DAUD, Mahyuddin. COVID-19 Pandemic in Malaysia: Managing Infodemic through Press Council. Kanun: Jurnal Undang-undang Malaysia, [S.l.], v. 33, n. 2, p. 239-268, july 2021. ISSN 2682-8057. Available at: <http://jurnal.dbp.my/index.php/Kanun/article/view/8087>. Date accessed: 24 oct. 2021. doi: https://doi.org/10.37052/kanun.33(2)no3.