Malaysia’s news agency Bernama reports Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin as urging the press not to use blogs as their sources of information as they may not be valid.
Zainuddin said some blogs are not updated and contain inaccurate information, which could discomfit and confuse surfers.
He claimed that many blogs are run by “individuals of no authority” and therefore depend on newspapers for credibility.
“Why should you, a journalist, cite that source and then publish it in a newspaper of authority?” he said in the 20 March 2007 report.
“The information in blogs may be provocative, politically motivated and inaccurate, and most are rumours created for the interest of certain parties. You (journalists) allow readers to believe blogs to be a valid source,” he said, referring to local newspapers’ tendency to quote blogs and, by publishing the blog names, indirectly promoting them.
He hoped the press would not give credit to blogs as this would make them appear powerful and “bigger”.
He said reporters who do so are not being fair to themselvse, their readers and the newspapers, in citing a doubtful source and giving space to anonymous individuals.
He said this could prove problematic to reporters and newspapers, inviting the risk of a lawsuit if what was reported was untrue.
He did not think blogs needed to be banned but urged bloggers to be more responsible and be educated.
He admitted that his ministry has no authority in controlling bloggers, but said that the government can, through various laws.
He advised readers who doubt the information contained in a blog to refer to the mainstream press for the real facts.