Posted on April 25, 2012


The Singapore-Johor causeway, spanning across ...

The Singapore-Johor causeway, spanning across the Johor Straits. It is one of two bridges which connect Singapore to Malaysia and Continental Asia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing serves ...

The Malaysia-Singapore Second Crossing serves as the secondary connection of Johor with the city-state of Singapore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Food for thought and thinking straight with a matter-of-fact news on journalism. Nothing is more interesting than if you  somewhat still believe that “no news is good news” or something to that effect. Apart from learning new things and new ideas, there are people, political leaders especially, who are obviously eager advising media practitioners how to be professionally responsible, as if these media people got their training from “half-past-six” institutions of higher learnings. Let’s read the following:

The Star 22 Apr 2012 ON THE BEAT WITH WONG CHUN WAI up close and visional

 For the first time in Malaysian journalism, you will have a print newspaper that provides you with both sound and visual.

 NO one would have imagined that newspapers would become interactive. But thanks to technology, we are now able to read a newspaper in its original format on a tablet computer. And now you can even watch a video associated with an article! If you have a smartphone, or tablet with built-in camera, download the Star Mobile App. Then point your gadget’s built-in camera at this page and you will get a video of me talking to you. So, for the first time in Malaysian journalism, you will have a print newspaper that provides you with both sound and visual. If you have done that, we would have taken a big step together in this exciting journey.

 Go to any of the pages in the newspaper from today. If you see an article or advertisement with the iSnap logo, it would have a playable video or audio clip or additional content such as a photo gallery, maps, product catalogues or contest entry forms. For instance, if you read an “iSnapped” article about football in the sports pages, you can watch a video clip of the goal being scored. For a review of a movie, the iSnap technology allows us to show a video trailer of the movie on your phone or tablet. I am always asked about the fate of the newspaper. If we recall, there were those who predicted that video would kill the cinemas, but cinemas have re-invented themselves and have staged a strong comeback, proving their critics wrong. There is also the tendency to divide the media into mainstream and alternative media but really, the line has blurred.

 In Malaysia, the top 20 news websites on the Internet are by the traditional news companies. This is because people want to read news of all kinds, not just politics. In fact, media practitioners have long realised that the top 10 news items read are often not political news. Media organisations are just like any other business concerns with wages and expenses to pay. They need to make money. Most have found it hard to monetise the model of just providing news over the Internet. People expect content to be free over the Internet, that’s the culture. Media organisations have tried the subscription model only to find out that Malaysians share passwords. In the case of games applications, they try to break the codes. There are plenty of such experts at Low Yat Plaza in Kuala Lumpur. In the media industry, print is still king in Malaysia, taking a huge chunk of the advertising revenue.

 The Star Online is the country’s number one news portal with 47 million pageviews a month. However, it is the newspaper, The Star/Sunday Star, that is the flagship with 1.3 million readership. We went online 19 years ago with our Star Online and today, we are taking another lead with this innovative approach. Then there are our four radio stations – in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Chinese – Redfm 104.9, Suria FM, 99.8FM and Capital Radio 88.9FM, which is targeted at women. In short, we are a content provider delivering news and information via print, Internet and radio. Thanks to the emergence of smartphones and tablet computers, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, for example, the entire newspaper is now available on the go online for those who want to read it in its original format and they can switch to the Internet edition for updates at the same time. And, more important, the Audit Bureau of Circulation has allowed the sale of the digital replica of a newspaper to be accepted as the same as the sale of the printed version. For advertisers, this means having their presence on both the print and digital versions at the same time. It also means the young and old can read the paper at the same time. Furthermore, via the e-paper, readers in Sabah and the more remote parts of Sarawak can now read the newspaper’s different editions no later than seven every morning.

 So Malaysia, our new journey begins today. Thanks for making history together.

 Then, there is this story below from TR Emeritus on the other side of the Tebrau Straits.

 TM Emeritus 24 Apr 2012 Yaacob says Mainstream media must remain mindful of their roles and responsibilities

                        April 24th, 2012 | Author: Editorial

 Singapore’s newspapers, radio and television media must not lose sight of their key strengths, even as the media industry adapts to the online playing field, MICA Minister Yaacob Ibrahim said.

He said that even though more Singaporeans are turning to the Internet and social media for news and views, they also continue to read the established traditional media as their main source of news. He gave the example of the general election and presidential election held in Singapore last year.

The Minister was speaking at a luncheon organised by Singapore Press Club today (23 Apr).

Mr Yaacob said that while mainstream media exercise their own independent editorial judgement in their reporting, they must remain mindful of their roles and responsibilities.

He said Singapore’s media model is based on consensus, facilitating nation building and preserving social cohesion. He asked if this approach should continue online.

“Our major companies which have established presence can set the right tone online as well with good practices of information sharing and moderation on the various online platforms,” he said.

“We can encourage information and viewpoints that inform and evaluate, and not disturb and divide. This will enhance their credibility that they already enjoy in the real world.”

He also spoke about an internet code of conduct involving the larger online community.

“If there are enough moderating voices within the Internet to decide what is good and what is not acceptable, I believe it will work,” Mr Yaacob said.

“The government has a stake in this and we will continue to encourage and engage people who have an interest in how the code of conduct can be shaped.”

The last thing the government should do, Mr Yaacob said, is to adopt a top-down process. He said the light-touch approach for the Internet has worked and can continue to work as good sense can prevail.

Mr Yaacob has been advocating the Internet community to come together to develop a “code of conduct” for social media scene in Singapore. He mentioned this in Parliament on 2 Mar: “I encourage individuals, groups, organisations and other members of the community to come together to develop a code of conduct, to encourage good gracious etiquette online. By working together, I believe we can foster a more conducive online space that encourages and enables enriching experiences for everyone.”

On 7 Apr, he told the media in an interview that the Internet community should lead the effort in defining such code of conduct, even as his ministry “will supervise and guide the process of developing such a code”.










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