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Sharing of Media Monitoring Activities in Malaysia

By Gayathry Venkiteswaran

Note: Power point presented at the launch of MEDIA INSIDE OUT Group, on 14 July 2012 in Bangkok


Brief background of media in Malaysia

  1. Language communities – ethnicised politics
  2. Private ownership with political ties – appointments of editor in chief are political
  3. State media, no public broadcasting
  4. Laws on licensing, criminal defamation, official secrets, sedition, national security
  5. Weakened trade union and societies’ laws
  6. Public apathy, until…

Examples of media monitoring in Malaysia

  1. Academic – content analysis, example trends in coverage of women, trade union, elections, political crises
  2. Civil society – National Media Monitoring Survey conducted by the All Women’s Action Society (AWAM)
  3. Citizen’s monitoring of 2004 general elections on the blog platform (hosted by Charter 2000)
  4. CIJ’s monitoring of election reporting 2008, topical issues
  5. Poll / survey – demographics and consumption trend, Merdeka Centre and CIJ
  6. Commentaries on specific stories – Hartal MSM, uppercaise

Monitoring of election reporting (2004, 2008, 2013)

  • Pre-2004 : Academic, post-fact, content analysis, limited dissemination
  • 1999 : independent online news and analysis platforms enter the media market, private TV station actually hosts credible talk shows
  • 2004 : Charter 2000, a citizens’ initiative for free expression, hosts a blog to get people’s observations of media coverage of the elections campaign, voting and results
  • 2008 : CIJ initiates with C2000 and WAMI a monitoring project with volunteers, but with a proposed methodology. Report confirmed the impact of the political control and ownership on the bias in the content, but it also showed the extent of the bias.
  • 2008: Survey on public perception of media independence (CIJ/Merdeka Centre)
  • 2009 : Survey on public perception of media role in reporting on corruption (CIJ/Merdeka Centre)
  • 2009 – 2011 : CIJ’s monitoring of coverage on by-elections, water protests, Wikileaks saga, economic transformation program
  • 2011 & 2012 : CIJ’s monitoring of the coverage on the electoral reforms rally (BERSIH)

Topical monitoring – BERSIH rally 2011, 2012

Public rallies to demand for electoral reforms – BERSIH (Clean) 2011 and 2012


  • Why is the coverage of a rally important?
  • Who are the sources/actors?
  • How do they frame the protestors?


  1. Reader would have got inaccurate information about the rallies from the print media
  2. But most people relied on the online and social networking sites (there were 263,228 tweets by 39,940 users using the #bersih tag over the period of a month)

Monitoring media reports : Conclusions

  • Political bias exists, but studies show how and to what extent
  • Increasing public discontent over the years, political bias has not reduced
  • Bias replaced by outright lies
  • Lack of professional reporting
  • Raise understanding of the laws, processes through the advocacy
  • People more engaged in discussion on ownership
  • Social networking tools begin to challenge the mainstream media


  1. Coverage of the monitoring – some sectors will always be left out
  2. Reliability – scientific data vs observation, margin of error, value to the bias
  3. Determining the purpose of the monitoring and how to use the information, follow up


     Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia

     Merdeka Centre

     Charter 2000 – Aliran Media Monitoring

     Hartal MSM


Gayathry Venkiteswaran is currently an executive director of Southeast Asian Press Alliancee (SEAPA)

กายาทรี เวนกิท สวารัน ผู้อำนวยการบริหารสมาพันธ์เครือข่ายสื่อเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้ (SEAPA)


เวที สนทนาประสาคนส่องสื่อ

วิษณุ ตรี ฮังโกโร, Institute for the Studies of Press Information, Samarang(สื่ออินโดนีเซีย)

กายาทรี เวนกิทสวารัน, Southeast Asian Press Alliance (สื่อมาเลเซีย)

ดร.เอื้อจิต วิโรจน์ไตรรัตน์, ผู้อำนวยการโครงการมีเดียมอนิเตอร์

ชวนสนทนาโดย รศ.ดร.อุบลรัตน์ ศิริยุวศักดิ์

14 กรกฎาคม 2555 งานเปิดตัวกลุ่ม มีเดีย อินไซด์ เอ้าท์

"Media Monitors in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand" Forum

  • Wisnu T Hanggoro Institute for the Studies on Press Information (Media in Indonesia)
  • GayathryVenkiteswaran Southeast Asian Press Alliance (Media in Malaysia)
  • Dr. UajitVirojtrairatt Foundation for Media Literacy ( Media in Thailand)

Moderated by Ass.Prof.UbonratSiriyuvasak


At the launch of MEDIA INSIDE OUT Group, 14 July 2012, Bangkok