BUKIT LANJAN: More bad news for mainstream print media in Malaysia

Is this also the common and easy excuse for Malaysia’s mainstream print media's declining influence or is it the easy way to justify lack of innovative news production?
‘THE NAKED TRUTH OF MEDIA IN MALAYSIA’
Multi-Cultural in Malaysia
Other countries should not identify Malaysia as the authoritarian press of Asia. The development media approach towards its national media, limits the roles and freedom of media. This is for the sake of national stability, security and also to successfully lead the Malaysian towards modernization, development, and economic prosperity. Malaysia is unique because of the challenges of different ethnicities, religions and languages. In fact, the Malaysian government has the choice between information make publicly available or privately kept: either control newspapers, images and ideas that are exposed to societies; allow freedom of debate and criticism but at the expense of harmony or restrict information for the sake of national security. Whatever their choice, we could not deny the enormous impact of media on the community and its capacity to change people’s perceptions of the government.
Malaysian Mainstream Media
Invariably, the Malaysian government would definitely intervene and manages its media to suit government agendas. Any dissent and criticism from the local and foreign citizens is considered anti-establishment to destabilize the country. This does not mean the media has lost its role of providing news or shaping the public opinions and perceptions about political, economic and social issues. The media can continually contribute to the development of the Malaysian society. In helping the Malaysian to transform into information communication society, the media must remain true to the spirit of the freedom of the press, free-flow of information and pro-social content and freedom to access and acquire information. - https://najmikhairri.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/the-naked-truth-of-media-in-malaysia/

BUKIT LANJAN: More bad news for mainstream print media in Malaysia

The mainstream media in Malaysia are still struggling to accept reality and embrace the digital media, and a new wave of technology is about to strike globally.

And, like the online news portal The Malaysian Insight (TMI) news titled “Mainstream media caused its own downfall, say analysts” and “BN in trouble with falling newspaper circulation, says editor”, the mainstream media in Malaysia has been resting in their laurels for far too long – since 2008 or the 12th General Election (GE12).

“They failed to face reality and to adapt and innovate with providing content that is acceptable to majority of Malaysians. Their folly has resulted in losing their clout as news providers, as evidenced by a free fall in circulation sales,” Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said.

“And in continuing with their ‘business as usual attitude’, the mainstream media has lost their credibility and confidence of Malaysian readers.

“This is why Malaysians have turned to cyberspace and digital social networks and news portals to satisfy their thirst and hunger for news and information.

“The problem with that today is that technology has also made it so difficult for readers to identify fake news, fake visuals and fake video clips.

“The working tools that come with technology advancement have also benefitted the work of fakes who do so for their own agenda,” he added.

http://blog.malaysia-asia.my/2013/09/malaysia-social-media-statistics.html
Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming GE14, said the mainstream print and electronic media in Malaysia “must now work doubly hard with content production to win back the confidence of their readers”.

“Life for Malaysian journalists, especially the editors, cannot possibly continue working with their ‘business as usual’ attitude or mentality. They must put on their professional journalistic thinking caps and work overdrive to catch up with cyberspace.

“If not, they will continue to lag into oblivion,” Syed Razak said.

Here are the three news articles for you to digest:
"Mainstream media caused its own downfall, say analysts

Sheridan Mahavera
Updated 2 hours ago · Published on 1 Oct 2017 11:00AM

The spread of Internet news since the mid-1990s and the spread of propaganda by much of the mainstream media has precipitated its decline. – EPA pic, October 1, 2017.

THE mainstream media have only themselves to blame for losing readers and the public’s trust, say media experts, as their pro-Barisan Nasional stance has destroyed their credibility.

The Internet has also helped this decline as Malaysians migrate online for news and views that are either ignored or suppressed by newspapers, free-to-air television and radio stations.

Although editors at mainstream outlets say their editorial stance is due to strict laws which regulate permits and licences, observers say that is only half of the story.

Many mainstream media outlets were led by editors who actually believe and support the BN cause, thus, their content was tailored to fit those convictions, said veteran journalist Wan Hamidi Hamid.

Though mainstream press have lost readers and more people are getting their news online, experts such as Dr Mustafa Kamal Anuar worry that this has led BN to regulate web content – a breach of the government’s promise made in the 1990s to not censor the Internet.

“There seems to be an inclination by the present BN government to register and control online publications, which would be a regressive move on their part.

“It is a mistaken idea of helping to arrest the decline of the MSM (mainstream media),” said Mustafa, of the think tank Penang Institute.

Plunging readership

On Friday, newspaper industry veteran Abdul Jalil Ali said the BN government was losing its ability to influence voters through the major newspapers it controls due to falling circulation figures.

A weak mainstream press with low readership was bad news for the ruling coalition with the 14th general election around the corner, said Jalil who is KarangKraf Media Group executive editorial adviser.

KarangKraf is one the biggest publishers of Bahasa Malaysia magazines and books, and owns national Malay daily Sinar Harian.

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations Malaysia, all mainstream newspapers suffered plunging circulation numbers in 2016 when compared with 2012’s figures.

Harian Metro suffered the worst drop – at 62.5% – from 379,169 copies to 142,262. The New Straits Times was the second worst, with circulation falling 41.6% from 93,321 copies at the end of 2012 to 54,490 copies at the end of last year.

Major Bahasa Malaysia dailies Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian each saw their circulation figures fall by 30% in the same period.

To be fair, newspapers’ declining readership was a worldwide phenomenon, said Wan Hamidi, a veteran journalist of 20 years.

“Besides rising cost of newsprint, circulation is going down because people are relying more on the Internet.”

But what has aggravated the fall of Malaysian newspapers is the trust deficit that has widened ever since the Reformasi era, said Prof Zaharom Nain of Nottingham University Malaysia.

“The Net and Anwar (the jailing for former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim) played crucial roles, I believe, in changing people’s perception of the MSM,” said Zaharom, who is professor of media and communications studies.

“The spread of Internet news since the mid-1990s and the blatant propaganda by much of the MSM – the former opening new avenues for information and news, and the latter insulting the intelligence of many Malaysians – precipitated this decline.”

Space increasingly closed

Wan Hamidi said former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi tried to make space for the mainstream press to air dissenting views.

“There was some semblance of freedom of the press during his era, but only because it was slightly more open compared to Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s time.

“But towards the end of the Pak Lah administration, it was back to ‘government knows best’,” said Wan Hamidi who has worked in the NST, The Star, The Sun and Berita Harian.

Although some senior editors and journalists pushed for more independence in newspapers, these efforts received lukewarm support, said Wan Hamidi.

Control was tightened again under Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration.

His administration saw printing permits for The Heat and The Edge Financial Weekly being suspended for content critical of the prime minister and his administration. – October 1, 2017 (TMI)

BN in trouble with falling newspaper circulation, says editor

Zulkifli Sulong
Updated 16 hours ago · Published on 29 Sep 2017 6:00PM


Putrajaya keeps a tight rein on news content with laws such as the Sedition Act, and newspapers still need a permit to publish under the Printing Presses and Publications Act, although other requirements, such as annual permit renewals, have been relaxed in recent years. – EPA pic, September 29, 2017.

THE Barisan Nasional administration is losing its influence among voters through the major newspapers it controls due to falling circulation figures, a media observer said.

KarangKraf Media Group executive editorial adviser Abdul Jalil Ali said a weak mainstream press with low readership was bad news for the ruling coalition with the 14th general election around the corner.

Jalil, who also sits on several government advisory panels, said the newspaper industry was now under a lot of pressure due to readership loss.

“Imagine, previously, Sinar Harian sold 130,000 copies a day. Now, it is half the figure. Other newspapers are faring even worse,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations Malaysia, figures at the end of last year compared with the same period in 2012 showed that Harian Metro suffered the worst drop – 62.5% – from 379,169 copies to 142,262.

The New Straits Times was the second worst, with circulation falling 41.6% from 93,321 copies at the end of 2012 to 54,490 copies at the end of last year.

Major Bahasa Malaysia dailies Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian each saw their circulation figures fall by 30% in the same period.

Losing control of the news

Mainstream newspapers in Malaysia have long been an important part of the ruling coalition's election machinery.

Putrajaya keeps a tight rein on news content with laws such as the Sedition Act, and newspapers still need a permit to publish under the Printing Presses and Publications Act, although other requirements, such as annual permit renewals, have been relaxed in recent years.

NST, Berita Harian and Metro are owned by the Media Prima group under entities friendly to the ruling government.

The Star is majority-owned by political party MCA through its investment arm, while ruling Malay party Umno owns about 50% of shares in Utusan.

Jalil said lower circulation figures indicated that the government could no longer influence voters through the media it controlled.

“To me, the government is in trouble and so is Prime Minister Najib Razak. I’ve said this before in several meetings I’ve attended.”

He said the government may be able to control certain media, but it could not control the spread and content of news.

“I’ve said it before to the authorities; you cannot block news in this day and age any more.

“What they should do instead is be clever when explaining and answering to all news.”

Jalil, who had led the newsrooms of now-defunct alternative press publications, such as Watan and Eksklusif, said only the alternative press was willing to challenge the narrative of the mainstream press.

Watan was published in the 1980s and closed during Operasi Lalang, while Eksklusif was published following the Reformsi period in the late 1990s.

Jalil said the role of such publications had been taken over by online media in various forms, including social media, where almost anyone could be a content producer and publisher.

“In the past, the government used to say that the alternative press comprised opposition supporters. But this is not true. Alternative media practitioners are independent in criticising and in airing their views.

“We merely reported what was not reported in the mainstream media. And now, the government can no longer control the spread of news through the internet.” – September 29, 2017 (TMI)

Future of news: bracing for next wave of technology

TECH NEWS
Tuesday, 10 Oct 2017
8:30 AM MYT


News organisations which have struggled in the past two decades as readers moved online and to mobile devices will soon need to adapt to AI, AR and automated journalism and find ways to connect beyond the smartphone, the report said. — AFP Relaxnews

WASHINGTON: If you think technology has shaken up the news media – just wait, you haven’t seen anything yet.

The next wave of disruption is likely to be even more profound, according to a study presented to the Online News Association annual meeting in Washington.

News organisations which have struggled in the past two decades as readers moved online and to mobile devices will soon need to adapt to artificial intelligence, augmented reality and automated journalism and find ways to connect beyond the smartphone, the report said.

“Voice interface” will be one of the big challenges for media organisations, said the report by Amy Webb, a New York University Stern School of Business faculty member and Founder of the Future Today Institute.

image: https://bcp.crwdcntrl.net/5/c=5593/b=44289793

“Once we are speaking to our machines about the news, what does the business model for journalism look like?” the report said.

“News organisations are ceding this future ecosystem to outside corporations. They will lose the ability to provide anything but content.”

Webb writes that most news organisations have done little experimentation with chat apps and voice skills on Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, the likes of which may be key parts of the future news ecosystem.

Because of this, she argues that artificial intelligence or AI is posing “an existential threat to the future of journalism.”

“Journalism itself is not actively participating in building the AI ecosystem,” she wrote.

One big problem facing media organisations is that new technologies impacting the future of news such as AI are out of their control, and instead is in the hands of tech firms like Google, Amazon, Tencent, Baidu, IBM, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, according to Webb.

“News organisations are customers, not significant contributors,” the report said.

“We recommend cross-industry collaboration and experimentation on a grand scale, and we encourage leaders within journalism to organise quickly.”

Drones, virtual reality

The study identified 75 technology trends likely to have an impact on journalism in the coming years, including drones, wearables, blockchain, 360º video, virtual reality and real-time fact-checking.

Webb’s study said some changes in technology will start having an impact on the media in the very near future, within 24 to 36 months.

“In 2018, a critical mass of emerging technologies will converge, finding advanced uses beyond initial testing and applied research,” the report said.

Some of these new technologies – the ability to interpret visual data, develop algorithms to write or interpret news, and collect and analyse increasing amounts of data – will allow journalists “to do richer, deeper reporting, fact checking and editing,” the report said.

These technologies “will give journalists superpowers, if they have the training to use these emerging systems and tools,” Webb writes. — AFP/The Star Online
"

Michelle J Brohier
A collection of thoughts and work
Facebook: Ruling Malaysia’s social media scene
In Malaysia, mention social media and only one particular platform comes to mind. Facebook. Almost everyone I know is on Facebook, sans two men who have no interest in social media at all (not that I blame them). When I attended Malaysia Social Media Week 2013 this year, and in the midst of all this hype about how Malaysia is growing in terms of social media, I was disappointed to see that 80% of the focus was on Facebook, with a little mention of Twitter, while other social media sites were never mentioned at all.
What about LinkedIn? How about Tumblr and Pinterest? I’m sure Instagram was mentioned, but how can we utilise it better in terms of business and communications?
Let me veer off a little by showing how prevalent social media is in Malaysia … https://mjbrohier.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/facebook-ruling-malaysias-social-media-scene/


N.37 LET BUKIT LANJAN SOAR WITH SYED ABDUL RAZAK ALSAGOFF

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