KUALA LUMPUR – Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) is still relevant and plays an important role in disseminating accurate information, news and provides entertainment via television and radio for the general public especially in the rural areas, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.
He said not everyone in the rural areas is privileged enough to be able to afford a form of satellite television service such as Astro in their homes.
“If we go down to rural areas and you will know that a lot of people still watch RTM and they still depend on RTM for news and also other contents,” he said in an interview with BFM radio today.
He said the proposed merger between RTM and the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) is relevant to the needs of uplifting these two entities in terms of quality reporting as well as content-driven shows.
“We need to bring our news agency (RTM and Bernama) up to the mark. That I am working on and I hope we are able to change it. Something that have been done but still have a lot to do. When we looked at content, if you want the content to match with CNN or BBC for example, you have to physically fixed problems and find a mechanism by which you can actually get your reporters out there so that they can bring the news to you on time, faster than your competitors,” he said.
Gobind added the merger can step up productivity in the provision of information to the people, especially on the government agenda and aspirations.
Last July, Gobind said a committee would be established to undertake an in-depth study on a proposal to merge RTM and Bernama, with the committee comprising people from various backgrounds to scrutinise and consider the proposed merger of the two media entities under the ministry.
Describing the merger of RTM and Bernama as rather complex, he gave the assurance nevertheless that all important aspects such as total workforce, cost and news channels would be looked at fully before any decision was made.
“The question about surplus workers arises. What would happen to workers whose jobs are now compromised because of the merger…of course we are looking into that as well. I think the staffing that you have which become a surplus can be put elsewhere because other departments are developing in RTM as well,” he said.
NMA KAY CJ