On 26 March 2022, Penang Chief Minister, YAB Chow Kon Yeow, US Ambassador to Malaysia Brian McFeeters and Penang Institute Executive Director Dato’ Dr. Ooi Kee Beng celebrated the completion of TechCamp Malaysia 2022: Smart Journalism, Healthy Democracy at Shangri-La Golden Sands, Penang.
Organised by Penang Institute, a local state think tank, with the support of the US Embassy, TechCamp Malaysia 2022 was held to provide emerging and mid-career journalists with the digital skills and tools to counter disinformation, particularly in the field of political and electoral reporting.
Throughout the three-day programme from 24 to 26 March, 33 participants from various newsrooms in Malaysia engaged with speakers and industry experts from the US, Malaysia, and the ASEAN region. The programme covered training on topics like fact-checking, data visualisation, social media for political reporting, and more. On the final day of the programme, participants had the opportunity to pitch their solutions to countering disinformation and apply for grants up to USD 6,000 to turn their ideas into action.
Proposal ideas submitted by participants include using newsgame to make politics more fun and relevant to young voters, holding virtual workshops for the youth to teach content creation and media literacy, as well as developing open source data visualisation tools for Malaysian elections, among others.