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MalaysiaKini – remaining Web news after Malaysia Today?

In Mainstream Media, Malaysia on September 8, 2008 at 8:24 am

I’m posting this because I can’t help but think of Raja Petra’s Malaysia Today. It must have hit a nerve and Badawi’s administration is really not pleased. I’m wondering how much of the alleged seditious issues formed the basis of complaints against Raja Petra. Did politics have anything to do with it? Ok, I am naive. Ahem!

Anyway, I then found Stephen Gan’s discussion in on the reasons they are getting more subscribers today, which actually, validates my earlier post – Alternative vs Mainstream media in Malaysia – on the approx 200K daily visitors during our GE last March and the recent surge again. The presentation by Stephen Gan also speaks about the values that makes MalaysiaKini succesful, a short excerpt:

Although seen as an icon of the internet revolution, Gan made clear that Malaysiakini is at its heart driven by the classic values of professional journalism. Unlike most websites, it is run by fulltime journalists. Indeed, what distinguishes it from the mainstream press is that the journalists are fully in charge.

The other reason is, as discussed by Stephen Gan, our mainstream media is controlled by the elite with their restrictive agendas for editors. Hence, MalaysiaKini is actually the sole independent web-based news provider today. Raja Petra’s MT was the other provider, though some might disagree, but the figures from the the graph clearly show at least, from March 2008 onwards, 60K daily visitors. Since, there aren’t (actually, I didn’t check) that many comments daily, visitors must be there to read.

So, the real concern for me (or us) is this:

First, as the remaining independent web-based news source of any significance, MalaysiaKini is going to get a lot of readers quite anxious. I’m not suggesting that readers should be worried, merely that there is only ONE player left.

Further, whether the mainstream media will be able to establish themselves on the web is greatly in doubt, simply because our younger generation is alerady going online for news gathering – AP recently released a report based on a one-year survey (pdf download). The possible exception to this lack of ability to setup the infrastructure is The Star Online.

Secondly, there is a lack of competition for MalaysiaKini. And that’s not good. Competition always keepts people on their toes, see MAS vs AirAsia – now we get cheap flights. So, if you’ve been thinking of being an online news proivder, now’s a good time. You know who you should call? Google.

If you think I’m kidding, then see Google as the Pressroom and State of the News Media 2006.

Given how COSTLY real-time web infrastructure is (from experience) I don’t believe anyone should seriously consider it because what’s already available online (search, feeds, alerts, news archives, trends) of Google and Yahoo and other blog egines, and their infrastructure is REALLY scalable (really!).

In fact, some mainstream media have already realised this and started outsourcing their IT infrastructure to Google, leaving them free to just focus on the newsroom. Perhaps our papers should do the same. Also, the AP Report ealier, ‘A New Model for News’, is really good – see here.

  1. A Tribute to RPK For Your Dreams. (Suatu Penghormatan kepada RPK atas Impian Mu)

    The latest news about RPK in Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today, that he would be detained under the ISA have moved me to dedicate this speech by one of the great Freedom Fighters in the world, Martin Luther King Jr. ” I Have a Dream” to him.

    (Berita terbaru tentang RPK di Malaysiakini dan Malaysia Today, bahawa beliau akan ditahan dibawah ISA telah mengharukan hati saya untuk mendedikasikan ucapan oleh seorang Pejuang Kebebasan Dunia, Martin Luther King Jr. bertajuk “Saya ada Impian” kepada beliau.)

    Let us reminiscent over it

    (Marilah kita mengenangkan tentangnya)


  2. […] MalaysiaKini – remaining Web news after Malaysia Today?; […]

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