Tuesday, October 14, 2008


S’wak may get journalism centre of excellence


Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) is looking into setting up a centre of excellence for Journalism and Communications in Kuching. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan said yesterday he has held preliminary talks on this matter with CJA president Hassan Shahriar and its other principal office-bearers. “There is a possibility that the centre of excellence would be set up in Kuchiiig. In fact, the Sarawak Govermnent is more than happy to have this in the state as we believe that our state is a good location due to its peace and stability,” he said to reporters here yesterday. He earlier represented the Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to declare open the CJA’s eight conference at a leading hotel here. When asked further, Dr Chan said the potential site for the centre had yet to he identified hut did not rule out Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) headquarters at Jalan Crookshank here as potential location. Meanwhile, Hassan also confirmed that he had spoken to Dr Chan about the idea for the centre to be sited in Kuching prior to the function. “We did speak to each other about this matter, and I asked whether the Government of Sarawak will consider the setting up of this centre,” he said. He nonetheless stressed that more talks needed to be held as the proposal was not something that could be done overnight. To a question, he said the centre would be a learning institution to train young journalists, initially starting from Asian region before taking in journalists from other parts of the world. The CJA was founded in 1978 and since 1983, it has organised training courses for journalists in many Commonwealth countries and in many fields including basic reporting, environmental journalism, election reporting and financial analysis. Out of 53 Commonwealth countries, CIA has members in 39 countries and active branches in 18 Commonwealth countries.