Telum Talks To... Twentytwo13

Telum Talks To... Twentytwo13

Twentytwo13 was founded by Pearl Lee and Haresh Deol in 2018. The news website is driven by quality and original content and aims to provide exclusive insights and story angles. Helmed by key individuals with multiple awards under their belts, the core editorial team members are Executive Editor Graig Nunis, Senior Copy Editor Purwaiz Alam and Creative Editor Amar Qastellani.

What has Twentytwo13 achieved since its founding in 2018?
Having worked in various newsrooms, we believe news is not dictated by just a handful of people. News has evolved and everyone is a newsmaker.

Since our inception, we have produced numerous exclusive reports. This includes revealing 16 days before the official announcement the efforts to make then Regent of Pahang Tengku Abdullah Shah the Pahang Sultan en route to being crowned the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. We were the first to report how Malaysian Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) transformed its venue hall into a temporary COVID-19 hospital in just four days with MAEPS later getting into Malaysia Book of Records for this feat.

As a website that champions public service, we got the Kuala Lumpur mayor to shut down an eatery where plates were washed using water from potholes in Bangsar in 2018.

Twentytwo13 has also scored several exclusives in the Malaysian sports scene and even hosted former Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim in our office in Taman Tun Dr Ismail in January 2019.

In a bid to raise awareness on the plight of journalists, many of whom had lost their jobs, and to showcase a different side of mixed martial arts, Twentytwo13 together with the Malaysian Mixed Martial Arts Association organised Fight For Change in November last year. The highlight was Haresh taking on professional fighter Shareh ‘The Jeneral’ Nasrullah in the cage. Sponsored by YTL Group, AirAsia and PR agency Rantau Golin, among others, the event raised RM31,000 for the National Press Club of Malaysia’s Journalist Welfare Fund.
Twentytwo13 has just published a video 'A Merdeka To Remember on YouTube. Can you tell us more about this?
For the first time in Malaysia's history, there will be no Merdeka Day parade due to COVID-19. So we decided to create our very own parade in light of the new norm as a way to thank Malaysians for their sacrifices and dedication. We drew inspiration for this video from our columnists who have been writing about what Merdeka truly means.

The video is about us being creative during unprecedented times, memories of our childhood, working together, appreciating the young and reminding our readers that we are celebrating Malaysia and its people.
How can the media promote nationalism since we are a multicultural country?
There are many ways. We have published articles and narratives about nationalism throughout the past two years. It's about celebrating Malaysians, and instilling nationalism and patriotism consistently, not just during Merdeka or Malaysia Day.

Most news organisations aggregate content from other sources to feed their readers with news instantly. How does Twentytwo13 stand out in this context?
If you aggregate the content of others and place your byline, then you are not a journalist and you don't work for a news organisation. It's as simple as that. We respect our peers; established titles that create original content, and we complement their writings, giving our readers more depth for a particular subject.

What issues do you think deserve more coverage in the mainstream media?
Every issue deserves coverage. But because the readership pie is huge, we now have news catering to different readers. No news item is bigger than another. News is news and a good story is a good story.

The articles on Twentytwo13 are often featured by local and foreign news establishments. Can you share what makes quality and reliable news?
Journalism's first obligation is to the truth and its first loyalty is to the people. Stick to the facts and figures. And be original.  

Readers tend to consume news online and online media is increasingly popular in the dissemination of fake news. How does an online platform like Twentytwo13 combat fake news and disinformation?
We report based on facts and figures. People will debate what 'fake' is these days - fake in the eyes of the readers or fake in the eyes of the authorities? Half-truths are equally dangerous too. It's an uphill battle as there are those who believe fake news makes a more "interesting" read. We need to soldier on to educate our readers and enable them to draw a proper conclusion.

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