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Malaysia wants to fight fake news with a new 24-hour TV news channel

Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah has launched today a channel dedicated to news under state-owned broadcaster Radio Television Malaysia (RTM), as part of Putrajaya’s initiative to counter so-called “fake news”.

The communications and multimedia minister said the channel, called Saluran Berita RTM (RTM News Channel in Malay), will air on MYFreeview channel 123, and is also multilingual.

“It is a platform for information on a 24-hour basis, in Malay, English, Mandarin, and Tamil.

“It will offer 25 daily news slots, 12 weekly talk shows, five daily business news, and two weekly magazine programmes,” he said during the channel’s launch at RTM’s headquarters in Angkasapuri.

Saifuddin added that although the focus is news-centric, other programmes such as informative documentaries will also be featured from time to time.

“Instead of having to wait for, say, the 8pm news slot on the RTM1 television channel, you can now get it whenever you want to.

“The channel’s main purpose first and foremost is to provide factual and verified news. Even as the ministry does its part to detect and trace fake news, it is hoped that the channel will eventually help the public to determine what is true and what is false,” he said.

The minister added this is best exemplified by the channel’s programme Pastikan Sahih, which airs at 6.30pm on weekdays and is aimed at any instances of false news spreading among the public.

“Also of interest is the live broadcasts from RTM radio stations from around the country that discuss specific issues related to the states.

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“This provides an opportunity for local community leaders to broadcast live in their respective states,” he said.

Saluran Berita RTM will run its primary news programmes every day from 12pm to 2pm, and from 7pm to 9pm. — Malay Mail