1Malaysia, 1Media?

By Reina

There were rumours a few years ago, that the major media organisations would come under one roof.

The New Straits Times Press (at that point in time, Malay Mail was still in the NSTP stable) was supposed to oversee the operations of The Star and The Sun. These two newspapers would be still in operation and running of these organisations would be status quo BUT the policy-level decision making and also major content/ editorial decisions would be done by NSTP, or rather a certain individual helming the NSTP stable.

Like I said, these were mere rumours and there was probably no truth to them. Then again, I am not sure if the possibility of this happening is so far-fetched after all.

But for argument sake, let’s see what would the consequences be if this were to happen now:

1.      It would be impossible to undo what has already been done – the country will be stuck with one big huge media organisation with a few little independent ones, and no way can this be undone even if the government or leadership of the country changes.

2.      All the newspapers will sound alike, more alike that what is happening now.

3.      Government’s control over media will be so much more easy than it is now – all the leadership has to do is make sure the guy helming NSTP is highly dependable and can be trusted to follow orders without question.

4.      The NSTP top guy will be among the most powerful people in the country.

5.      The chances of fighting off the online media are good – the mainstream will be presenting a united front and all pushing the same message at the same time.

This will give the impression that the government has near absolute control of the country’s institutions, as many people already perceive that the army, police, judiciary, MACC, civil service, GLCs and other official or semi-official institutions are pro-government.

If such a merger were to happen, almost all of the major press and electronic media would come under direct government control, except for a few small players. This will give the party who controls the NSTP unprecedented control over the information flow in the country. Which in turn would mean that the majority of the nation’s opinion could be shaped without much interference or deviation from the official line.

One could say that the public could always go to the independent media to get alternative viewpoints. But the fact of the matter is, the MSM still plays a major role in shaping the national consciousness as those who prefer their news from the online media are just a tiny minority in the nation.

In fact, a study shows that the rural Malays seem to trust Utusan Malaysia.

This is something to think about, isn’t it?

2 Responses to “1Malaysia, 1Media?”
  1. Helen Ang says:

    Uppercaise has a post today (Sept 19) on 5-in-1Najib talking heads. One tongue says one thing about Utusan, while the other tongues whisper & wag another … perhaps.

    To read, look to your top right sidebar, under ‘Mediawatch’ — click link to his blog.

  2. FenceSitter says:

    A divided malaysia that we have today is caused by politicians and leaders and policy. In particular after tunM took over as pm. While the general population strives to live in harmony, It is is real sickening when today we still see politicians and msm hell-bent on preaching the exact opposite. 1malaysia will just be a slogan and political tool if politicians first does not get rid fo their divide and rule and racial politics, and this applies to both bn and the opposition.

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