The headline reads ‘‘Bernama’ name of our news agency’, published by a local publication (News Straits Times) on Aug 5, 1965.
The news of the Cabinet’s approval for the establishment of a national news agency for Malaysia was disclosed by the then Deputy Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein after a Cabinet meeting, saying it would be known as Sharikat Berita Nasional Malaysia Berhad.
Fast forward to May 20, 1968, the national news agency published its first news, titled ‘The first flash from BERNAMA’, featured the then Minister of Information and Broadcasting Tan Sri Senu Abdul Rahman, to kick start its first day of operation officially, with all major Malaysian newspapers, radio and television station as well as the Information Department among its initial subscribers.
As Malaysia’s sole and official news agency, Bernama has come a long way with 56 years of writing history, making its mark in the scene despite the country's ever-changing political and media landscape.
Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said 56 years of establishment marks an important and meaningful milestone, despite the many challenges faced by the organisation.
“For 56 years, Bernama has served to report and record historic moments in our country.
“I see that Bernama will continue to play its role as an official source for news and become a 'resource centre' for what is happening officially in our country. I wish the best for the team (Bernama staff)... Happy 56th anniversary Bernama, keep moving forward,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Bernama editor-in-chief Datuk Zakaria Abdul Wahab, who has been with the agency since 1980, viewed Bernama’s achievements and transformation over the past five decades as sterling work, as it upholds its tradition of disseminating reliable news and content.
He said the news agency played a pertinent role in being the ‘people’s voice’, bridging the gap between the government and the people, and constantly adapting to technological advancement by disseminating news in various platforms and multiple languages for it to be accessible for all walks of life, as well as to cater to the masses’ need in the digital age.
As a result of the quick growth of communication technology, Bernama is persistently searching for methods to be a leader in news and content production by participating in new areas of journalism namely data journalism and fact check through MyCheck Malaysia.
Starting by processing and disseminating news using a teleprinter, the news organisation has grown its reach over the past 50 years to include platforms for digital media, Bernama TV and Bernama Radio, making Bernama a more diverse player in the Malaysian media scene.
Bernama now also offers various products, content and services via several platforms, including Bernama News, Bernama.com and Bernama Images.
Meanwhile, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari also congratulated Bernama on its 56th anniversary as the main official source of the government and Malaysia in reporting local and international news.
“From Malaysia to the whole world, congratulations on the 56th anniversary, thank you Bernama,” he said.
Bernama was established under an Act of Parliament on April 6, 1967, and was officially launched on Aug 30, 1967, in conjunction with the country's 10th independence anniversary.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency