Monday, June 15, 2009

The Times, They Are A'Changin

Remember how excited you were when you got your first blog? The joys of tweaking your layout to perfection, expressing your views on anything and everything - those were the good old days.

Since then, new media publishing has crossed new frontiers, with the boundaries being tested, sometimes downright broken. It's no longer just blogs - there are now vlogs, linklogs, and so much more (Wikipedia 2009).

What's new, you ask? Apart from mobile television, the most exciting new development is the harnessing of the Internet for political purposes.

New media such as alternative online newspapers are gaining popularity in Malaysia, a pertinent example being the ubiquitous Malaysiakini. This highly popular news portal is an independent media organisation (Malaysiakini 2009), and provides an alternative viewpoint to the ones presented in government-owned mainstream news organizations.

(Source: Malaysiakini 2009)

This news portal is instrumental in the shaping of a free and fair Malaysia, for although it is non-partisan in nature, it is rather opposition centric in its reporting. This provides an interesting 'check and balance' to the mainstream media which tends to practice self censorship, due to the presence of laws which curb the absolute freedom of speech such as the Internal Security Act and the Sedition Act (Haji et al. 2003, p. 171).

Lastly, the appeal of the Malaysiakini website is due to its multimodality (Walsh 2006) - the text, or the content, is delivered in a multitude of modes. It not only has written content in the form of articles and opinion pieces, but also has a 'Videos' section, where readers can become viewers. In today's day and age, it is no longer enough to write about something, nor post pictures of it - videos are the here and now of information.

Therefore, new media can transcend being merely entertaining, to informing and enriching your understanding of your country's political scene.

(300 words)


Haji, NMJ, Redzuan, M, Abu, AS, Haji, IMR 2003, Malaysian studies: nationhood and citizenship, trans. Wong FK, Prentice Hall, Malaysia.

Malaysiakini 2009, About us, viewed 12 June 2009, <>

Walsh, M 2006, ‘The ‘textual shift’: Examining the reading process with print, visual and multimodal texts’, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 24-37

Wikipedia 2009, Blog, viewed 12 June 2009, <>

No comments:

Post a Comment