"This pandemic has demonstrated, more than ever, the important role that journalists and editors play in exercising responsible journalism by eradicating misinformation that may cause confusion and panic in society," Hoi remarked.
The secretary-general made the statement in his opening speech at the ASEAN Media Forum held virtually on Tuesday.
Hoi gave due importance to the role of media and journalists in furnishing information and edifying the ASEAN community in the midst of robust information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As such, we depend on you (media and journalists) in helping us to inform, educate, and empower the people of ASEAN," he emphasized.
The ASEAN secretary-general further affirmed that the role of the media as a driver of change is crucial in realizing the ASEAN integration and community-building agenda.
"The narratives that the media promote have contributed to shaping the public opinion, especially in the construction of belief and outlook of our ongoing efforts in improving the quality of lives and livelihoods in the ASEAN region," he remarked.
Hoi pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic had emerged as the most detrimental challenge to the ASEAN since the Asian Financial Crisis.
"Nonetheless, these challenges thrown in the wake of the pandemic have provided ASEAN an opportunity to deepen regional security and unity, specifically through broader cooperation at various levels, including government agencies, business industries and the private sector, as well as relevant stakeholders, such as the media," he added.
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