July 7, 2008

10 Internet News Sites to Get Accreditation

PUTRAJAYA: Long popular with the masses, Internet news portals have finally won over their strongest critic, the government, which will issue them with media accreditation passes soon.

The Information Ministry will issue 10 online news sites with "media tags" which are given to media organisations "acknowledged" by the government.

These are the mainstream and vernacular newspapers, broadcast television channels and foreign wire agencies.

Bloggers, however, will not be given accreditation even if they report socio-political news as their sites are considered personal in nature.

A senior official with the Information Department said the 10 news portals were approved by the ministry's secretary-general and that future additions would have to be vetted by him.

The source named Malaysiakini, Agenda Daily and Malaysian Insider as some of the news portals that could apply for accreditation.

"We are in the process of issuing the passes.

"They can start applying to the department," said the official.

He said the move was in line with the ministry's decision to have "a more open policy". It is also in keeping with Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek's desire to engage the Internet media.

The official said journalists from news portals would now be able to work in Parliament, the Prime Minister's Department and government buildings.

The representatives from these media have been allowed to do so for some time even without the accreditation.

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