25/05/2024 08:12 AM

KUCHING, May 24 (Bernama) -- Some 1,000 local and international media practitioners have begun gathering in Kuching to enliven the celebration of 2024 National Journalists' Day (HAWANA) from tomorrow.

The gathering will see editors, journalists, photographers, cameramen, and those working behind the scenes, as well as representatives of local and international media associations attending various programmes arranged over three days.

The largest gathering of the Malaysian media fraternity will also be joined by media representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Brunei, the Philippines, Timor Leste, Vietnam, China, Korea, and Qatar.

The festivities will kick off tomorrow with the ‘HAWANA 2024 Excursion with Students’ programme at the Sarawak State Library, attended by Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil.

The inaugural programme will run until October, targeting Communications and Media Studies students or related fields at Public Institutions of Higher Learning (IPTA).

The programme, which will tour selected IPTAs in several states feature knowledge-sharing sessions and discussions on topics such as ‘Fact-Check’ with MyCheck Malaysia and BERNAMA Data Journalism Unit editor Sakina Mohamed, as well as Mobile Journalism (MoJO) by BERNAMA’s Digital Media Desk senior journalist Syed Iylia Hariz Al-Qadri Syed Izman.

Another major attraction is the HAWANA 2024 Exhibition at the Main Atrium of the Plaza Merdeka Shopping Centre here, which will also run for three days starting tomorrow.

Seventeen agencies will be participating in the exhibition to showcase their services and provide visitors with information and various activities.

Old media equipment and the history of media in Sarawak will also be exhibited, with the exhibition open from 10 am to 5 pm.

Participating agencies include BERNAMA, the Sarawak Public Communications Unit (UKAS), TVS, Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), FINAS, the Department of Information (Japen), the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), and the Kuching Division Journalists Association (KDJA).

The 2024 Sarawak Media Conference (SMEC) 2024 themed ‘Evolution of Media in the Digital Era’with approximately 600 participants including local and international speakers, will be held for two days starting tomorrow and will be inaugurated by Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

HAWANA 2024 participants will also get to experience the unique culture and latest developments of Sarawak through the 'Juh Raon' programme, which includes visits to iconic locations around the city.

They include the Borneo Cultural Museum, Darul Hana Bridge, Dataran Ibu Pertiwi, followed by a high-tea and networking session at the English Tea House & Restaurant.

Participants will also be honoured at a dinner reception with the Yang Dipertua Negeri of Sarawak, Tun Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, tomorrow.

On Monday, the highlight of HAWANA 2024 will be the address by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who will inaugurate the celebration, the fourth since its introduction in the capital in 2018, and subsequent ones held in Melaka (2022) and Perak (2023).

The Prime Minister will also present the Tokoh HAWANA Award, while seven media practitioners from Sarawak will be honoured with the Sarawak Premier’s Special Award during the main event.

HAWANA 2024, themed ‘Etika Teras Kewartawanan Mapan’ is organised by the Ministry of Communications in collaboration with the Sarawak Government, while Bernama is the implementing agency.