IJF has achieved its aim

JF has achieved its aim, say MPI CEO

Welcoming remarks by the CEO of MPI at the launching of MPI International Journalism Fellowship 2012 on 18th of September 2012 at MPI Training Centre, Jalan Bukit Ledang, Kuala Lumpur.

         First and foremost, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) and in particular to this International Journalism Fellowship 2012 opening ceremony this morning. I would like to congratulate each and one of IJF 2012 fellows who are here this morning for being chosen by your respective media and news organizations to participate in this four-week program.

To our foreign participants selamat datang to Malaysia which will be your home, so to speak, for the next 30 days or so. For 2012, we have seven foreign participants. One from Zimbabwe was unable to come at the very last minute due to other important commitment back home.  The rest are local young journalists. Yes, I know it is a long time to be away from your love ones physically, but I am sure you will have no problem to get in touch with them in the cyber world. The wonder of information communication technology has truly made the planet we live in into a global village in that sense.

MPI would also like to convey its sincere appreciation to our guest of honour, the Group Managing Editor of NSTP Berhad, Sdra Abdul Jalil Hamid who will officially open IJF 2012 shortly. Thank you Sir. For your information, NSTP, is a leading print media organization with a growing on line presence. According to latest figures released recently, collectively the sale of its three major dailies – the New Straits Times,Berita Harian and Harian Metro stands at 649,000 copies. The online editions of the three dailies are also extremely popular, with more than four million hits a month. Thank you again: pisang emas dibawa belayar, masak sebiji di atas peti, hutang emas boleh dibayar, hutang budi dibawa mati.

2012 is an exciting year for us at MPI. Early this month, in collaboration with Universti Utara Malaysia, we started our master of science program in managerial communication especially for media practitioners. Eleven of them have signed up for that postgraduate study. Today our IJF program celebrated its fifth anniversary.

IJF  was launched in 2008 as an avenue to provide hands-on training in print, broadcast and multimedia journalism for young journalists from developing world. This time round, like the previous four years, the participants will have the opportunity to enhance their skills and knowledge in news writing, the arts of interviewing, multimedia and photo journalism, features and narrative writing and investigate journalism among others.

We have assembled a combination of veteran and experienced practising journalists and media academics locally and internationally to take you through the program. We have the like of Dr. David J Clark of Bolton University, United Kingdom, who now heads the MA International Journalism program at Beijing Foreign Studies University to speak on multimedia journalism. Yvonne Chua, the Training Director of the Philipines Centre for Investigative Journalism, University of the Philipines, will also be here to guide you on investigative journalism. A number of Malaysia’s top editor will also be here to share their experiences with you.

But of course, IJF is not only about lectures and classes to update you with new knowledge on current and contemporary trends in journalism. Or to undertake assignments to to test your ability to translate what you have learnt in classroom into practice. It also provides you with opportunity to build bridges with fellow participants from different nations and to develop a feeling of lasting friendship between people who share a common interest, aim and belief – that is journalism. Not only while you are here, but for the rest of your life.

I am glad to report thatwhen the program ends on 17th of October 2012, a total of 113 young journalists under the age of 30, from developing world have benefitted from the program. They are not only from the ASEAN region – Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, the Republic of Phillipines and Malaysia but also from Bangladesh,  Namibia, Mongolia, Yeman, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. MPI now has its alumni  in 18 countries. I hope one day we can bring all of them back to Malaysia for another fellowship program as a follow up of post IJF. But at personal level, I knew that a number of IJF Fellows had returned to Malaysia for private visits. I myself met   three of them two years ago.

Last but not least I would like to say a big thank you to the Malaysian Government, a number of Malaysian corporate entities and other government agencies for their continuous support to make IJF a reality. In particular, our appreciation goes to: The Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture, Department of Information Malaysia, New Straits Times Press Berhad, The State Government of Terengganu, Ambank, Bank Rakyat, Felda Holdings Berhad, Maybank,, Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), Petronas, Pos Malaysia, Resorts World Genting and SME Bank.

Thank you.