Thursday, November 13, 2008


I have learnt a lot regarding the media in Malaysia from creating this blog. As a blogger, I need to have an unbiased point of view when I’m reporting on a certain issue. Besides that, I need to refrain myself from using any offensive languages or have the means to criticise any party. Through this blog, I have developed my skills in writing and in designing. As a blogger, I must also be able to write ethically to avoid any sort of defamation and copyright infringements. I need to be very careful in posting every entry as every sentence I write could lead me into trouble. A blogger must also be sensitive to culture differences as each culture has their own way of life. And racist remarks or prejudicial comments should be avoided. Besides that, a blogger must also be creative in designing their blog so that they would attract more readers and for their readers to stay in their blog for a longer period of time. The hypertext links should be well navigated to avoid any dead ends.

Emergence of alternative media

The citizen of Malaysia have no where to turn to but to the internet as alternative media where they can get true coverage on a story without censorship or restriction. The internet has been hailed as the most practical alternative source of information not accessible in the mainstream media. Many blogs and online news websites such as has surfaced to inform the public on what was shadowed in the past. The site was created by a group of journalists who are unhappy with bias in news coverage. Their objective is to test and push the boundaries of press freedom. The site is visited by 100,000 visitors daily, which puts it in the same league as major newspapers in the country.

There are three main reasons for the success of the internet. First, is the government policy – to promote the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) whereby the government has pledged not to censor the internet. And to its credit, the government has kept its words. Secondly, the rise in political consciousness among Malaysians. A growing number of Malaysians are keener in democracy, human rights and good governance. And finally, the loss of credibility among the traditional media due to press self-censorship. Therefore, the readers turn to the internet for alternative sources of news. (Gan, S 2002).


Gan, S 2002, Virtual democracy in Malaysia: Putting press freedom in the front burner, Nieman Reports, Vol. 58, No. 2, pp. 65-67, viewed 21 October 2008,
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Limitation to mainstream media freedom

Due to the ownership of the media and legislation to control the media, there is almost no freedom to the media. For example, in 1995, an investigative team from The Sun newspaper has investigated the circumstances regarding the deaths of 59 detainees, mostly Bangladeshis, in an illegal immigration detention camp. They died of beri-beri, a symptom of malnutrition and typhoid, which is easily prevented. They have written that this was a case of criminal neglect on the part of the police who ran the camp. The story was however spiked hours before it went to print (Gan, S 2002).

Role of web based media

Because the traditional media reports on biased news, the people turn to alternative media for news instead. Therefore, the online news journalist plays a very significant role in reporting unbiased news to the public. An example of a significant issue that happened in Malaysia was the case of Deputy Anwar Ibrahim getting fired by PM Mahathir Mohamad in September 1998. Thousands of Anwar’s supported rallied at street protests. Anwar’s wife was warned not to address public gathering when Anwar was arrested. The mainstream media did not report much on the situation but new websites like Sang Kancil, Voice of Freedom, Where is Justice and Anwar has took over and fill in the missing information that have been left by the mainstream media (Wang L. K 2001). Besides that, the mainstream media also failed to give full coverage and unbiased news on the BERSIH and HINDRAF rally, but instead the people knew more about the rallies through the internet.


Gan, S 2002, Virtual democracy in Malaysia: Putting press freedom in the front burner, Nieman Reports, Vol. 58, No. 2, pp. 65-67, viewed 21 October 2008,

Wang L. K 2001, Media and Democracy in Malaysia, the Public, Vol. 8, Issue 2, p. 67-88

Control of the mainstream media by the government

Most Malaysians read and listen to information that has been censored and filtered by the government. Clearly, there is a tight relationship between the press and the political parties in the ruling coalition. The party-owned media get to control the media and this allows them to have the power to decide on the scope and nature of the media content. This makes it difficult for the journalist as they are merely a part of the government’s propaganda machines and not professionals performing their duties to the best of their abilities. This situation also makes it hard for the citizens to exercise their rights to information and the right to make informed choices (Wang L. K 2001).

The government controls the media by imposing laws and acts to constraint the content of each media. These laws not only instill fear among the journalists, but also prevent media professionals from practicing investigative journalism and from playing any role as the guardian of truth (Wang L. K 2001). The laws include Internal Security Act (ISA), Official Secrets Act (OSA) and the Printing Presses and Publication Act (PPPA) (Gan, S 2002). According to Gan in the ABC media report, Malaysiakini represents a concept of independent media, which trouble the government a little. The website says a lot about the government finding it hard to come to terms with the new media and with internet media, and now it is an environment where the government is losing complete control on truth.


Gan, S 2002, Virtual democracy in Malaysia: Putting press freedom in the front burner, Nieman Reports, Vol. 58, No. 2, pp. 65-67, viewed 21 October 2008,<>

The Media Report, Paul Toohey; Youth Media Week; Malaysia Media; Byron Bay Echo, ABC Radio National, viewed 13 November 2008,

Wang L. K 2001, Media and Democracy in Malaysia, the Public, Vol. 8, Issue 2, p. 67-88

Ownership of Traditional Media by the Government

Media Prima Berhad is a subsidiary media corporation that controls several television networks, newspaper, and radio stations and is linked to Malaysia’s ruling party UMNO. Media Prima controls English newspapers such as New Straits Times and Malay Mail, as well as Malay papers like the Berita Harian. This company is the biggest media group in Malaysia, owning roughly 54% of Malaysia television viewership and controlling a market share of approximately 29%. Television channels such as TV3, NTV7, 8TV, and many more, while radio stations for example Hot FM and Fly FM are owned by this company. Besides Media Prima, another media corporation is the Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) who controls 17 % of the television audiences. The government owns RTM and operates a number of radio and television stations in Malaysia. RTM runs 8 national, 16 states, 7 district radio stations and two television station at present. (Netto, A 2007)

The political parties and their investment companies control the major newspaper in Malaysia. The Utusan Melayu Group, which is owned by UMNO, publishes three Malay language dailies and has strong ties to former Prime Minister Mahathir’s party. The major English newspaper, The Star and New Straits Times (NST) is also owned by the political parties. The Star which has a daily circulation of 302,658 and 310,950 on Sundays (The Star Online 2008) is owned by the MCA meanwhile the NST which has a daily of 2.542 million (NSTP 2007) in Peninsular Malaysia is owned by UMNO (Press Reference 2007). Besides The Star newspaper, MCA also controls four other significant media press companies – Sin Chew Jit Poh, Nanyang Siang Pau, China Press, and Guang Ming Daily. Meanwhile, Tamil newspapers such as Malaysia Namban, Makkal Osai and Tamil Nesan are all owned by the MIC.


Netto, A 2007, Malaysian Media, Giant, Grasps for Internet, Asia times Online, viewed 12 November 2008,

NSTP 2007, NSTP takes 25pc of circulation pie, The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad, viewed 12 November 2008,

Blogging issues

Blogs as current phenomenon

Blogging has become a recent occurrence that almost 8 out of 10 of my friends have a blog of their own. According to Sifri:
- there are almost 70 million weblogs currently
- about 120,000 new weblogs are being created worldwide each day
- between 3,000 to 7,000 new splogs (spam blogs) are being created each day.
- About 13. million posting are posted each day
- The growing from 35 million to 75 million blogs took only 320 days
From there, we can see how fast the world of weblogs are growing and how many users are using blogs in their life.

Benefits of blogging to the community

Why do people choose to blog? Blogging allows a certain individual to express and share his or her thoughts or complains to the public, for example news, politics, sports and business (Taylor, D 2007), into words. This helps to reduce their burden and convert their thoughts into words, just like a diary. As blog sites allow its users to choose whether or not to allow the public to read their blogs, their privacy can be kept from the public. Blogging also help corporate to sell or market their products. For example, a boutique that posts their clothes and accessories in the Net which allows their customer to purchase their product online.

Classification of blogs

There are three types of blogs and three classifications to the types. First, we have the personal blogs which is the most common blog. It is an ongoing diary or commentary by an individual. Then, there is the corporate blog that can either be private or used for business purposes. It is used to enhance communication and culture in a corporate or externally for marketing, branding or public relations. The final type of blog is the question blogging whereby it is a blog that answers question. The classification is by media type, by device and by genre. To build a blogging community, lots of people need to sign up in that certain community for it to grow larger. Therefore, people from all around the world could connect and interact with each other. MyBlogLog is an example of a blogging community that is based on interactions facilitated by a popular web widget that members install into their blogs. Members can see basic information such as how many people visited their blog, what links they clicked and where they come from (Wikipedia 2008)

Designing for print vs. designing for online

There are many differences in designing for print and online designs. For starters, print designers have a huge canvas to design in. their designs needs to be striking and yet intricate and have more impact than a web page, especially because the entire one or two page spread need to capture the audience’s attention in two seconds. Print design is 2-dimentional but web designs are simultaneously 1-dimentional and N-dimensional. The N-dimensional aspect of the web designs follows from the hypertext navigation that is the essence of a website. Having the N-dimensional impact, it makes web more memorable and has a stronger impact then seeing alone. In print, navigation mainly consists of page turning meanwhile hypertext navigation requires decisions such as appearance of links, how and where each links will lead, visualization of the user’s current location and information architecture. However, print media is superior to the Web in terms of speed, type and image quality, and the size of visible space. However, this comparison depends on what type of computer the user uses. Print designs is based on letting the eyes walk over the information and selectively looking at information while web design functions by letting the hands move the information by scrolling or clicking. (Nielsen, J 1999)

New forms of Media Publishing

Media convergence is a concept whereby old and new media intersect in such a way that the balance of power between media producers and media consumers shifts in unpredictable ways. In today’s world, the usage of the internet is boundless. The television, radio and newspapers are the worlds main medium in accessing news and entertainment. However, these three mediums have now converged into one through the internet. People now can watch videos and television shows online (Wikipedia, 2008). They can also listen to the radio and read news online. For example, The Star newspaper now has an online website for their readers to read news similar to the ones that are printed. Radio stations such as Fly fm also allow their listeners to listen to their station online. And television shows could also be watched online through YouTube or through an online website created by the television station itself. The internet has become such a convenience and easy to access that almost everyone in the world knows how to access the internet.


Nielsen, J 1999, Difference Between Print Design and Web Design, Alertbox, viewed 13 November 2008,

Sifry, D 2007, The State of the Live Web, April 2007, Technorati, viewed 13 November 2008,

Taylor, D 2007, Why do people blog, and how many of us are there?, Intuitive Systems, viewed 13 November 2008, <>

Thinkquest 2006, Types of Blogs, Blogging – the Phenomenon, viewed 13 November 2008,

Wikipedia 2008, MyBlogLog, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, viewed 13 November 2008,

Wikipedia 2008, Media Convergence, Technological Convergence, viewed 13 November 2008,

Purpose of this blog

This blog is targeted to all the mass communication students or practitioners on field about the media in Malaysia. it will be useful as almost everything in the world are operated through media. messages could be sent across thousand miles away through media. Therefore, it is important for everyone to learn more about the media.