BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 7 Journalism and Emerging Issues

Date: 27 April 2014

Blogpost 5

BCM310: BCM310: Emerging Issues in Media and Communication chapter 7 Journalism and Emerging Issues

In the seventh week, our guest lecturer, Miss Siti Sarwa, discussed what journalism is; who journalists are; emerging issues in journalism, their impact and significance on media and communications and vice-versa. Miss Siti Sarwa is a veteran reporter for RTM.

To my understanding, journalism is the process and concept of gathering, editing and producing information and news and presenting it to the public. These activities of gathering information, interpreting it, and spreading it are carried out by journalists (Van Der Haak, Parks & Castells 2012, pp2923–2938).

Initially journalism was a profession where only trained people carried out the tasks (Deuze 2005, pp442–464). Today, with the internet, journalism is no longer confined to the professionals (Lewis, Kaufhold & Lasorsa 2009, pp163-179; Domingo et. al 2008, pp326-342). Common people have taken to writing blogs and posting their own opinions on virtually every topic. They even discuss technical topics and medical subjects as though they are experts. This is very dangerous as some people who read these blogs are gullible enough to believe what these laymen have posted on the internet (Lewis, Kaufhold & Lasorsa 2009, pp163-179; Domingo et. al 2008, pp326-342).

Take the case of the mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370 on March 8 2014. All kinds of theories abounded in the internet. This situation has impacted the relationship between the people of China and Malaysia, as most of the passengers on board the ill-fated plane were Chinese citizens. The Chinese have even accused the Malaysian government of being murderers.

Conversely, so many ‘pseudo journalists’ have contributed to the abundance of information and generation of discussion on various topics in the internet (Domingo et. al 2008, pp326-342; Lewis, Kaufhold & Lasorsa 2009, pp163-179). This has led people to question the news in mainstream newspapers, which is deemed censored or manipulated by the government in countries like North Korea and China (Domingo et. al 2008, pp326-342; Lewis, Kaufhold & Lasorsa 2009, pp163-179; Lazaroiu 2010, pp264–272).

Sharing the news spotlight in Malaysia today is the visit by the US President, Barack Obama. Since the last US presidential visit was 47 years ago, this is a big deal to Malaysia, considering the United States is a superpower. Is it a coincidence that his arrival follows so closely behind the mysterious disappearance of FlightMH370? Or is he here to ensure that Malaysia becomes a signatory to the TPPA. Is he also here to enlist Malaysia’s help in keeping watch over China’s rising influence in this region? The US President could be of the opinion that Malaysia is truly a moderate Muslim country and his itinerary includes a visit to the National Mosque proves that the US is not against Islam. Could it be the US fears of Malaysia being a terrorist hub? I think these theories are not so far-fetched.

In my opinion, the more bizarre the news, the more the media will seek to cover it. Current events in Malaysia affect the media as journalists scramble to find the hard facts about the disappearance of Flight MH370. For the first time, so many foreign news media, like CNN, converge in Malaysia. Richard Quest of CNN in his interview of the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, demonstrates the power of the media in highlighting the world’s current negative opinion of Malaysia.

(488 words)

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References

Deuze, M 2005, ‘What is journalism? Professional identity and ideology of journalists reconsidered’, Journalism, vol. 6, no. 4, pp442–464, accessed 23/4/2014, http://jou.sagepub.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/content/6/4/442.full.pdf+html.

Domingo, D, Quandt, T, Heinonen, A, Paulussen, S, Singer, J, B, & Vujnovic, M 2008, “Participatory Journalism Practices In The Media And Beyond,” Journalism Practice, vol.2, no.3, pp326-342, accessed: 5/4/2014, http://jclass.umd.edu/classes/jour698m/domingo.pdf.

Lazaroiu, G 2010, ‘MEDIA CONCENTRATION, DIGITAL COMMUNICATION NETWORKS, AND THE IMPACT OF NEW MEDIA ON THE NEWS ENVIRONMENT’ Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, vol.5, no.2, pp264–272, accessed: 5/4/2014, http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/748829708/fulltextPDF?accountid=15112.

Lewis, S, C, Kaufhold, K, Lasorsa, D, L 2009, ‘THINKING ABOUT CITIZEN JOURNALISM’, Journalism Practice, vol. 4, no.2, pp163-179, accessed: 5/4/2014, https://online.journalism.utexas.edu/2009/papers/Lewisetal09.pdf.

Van Der Haak, B, Parks, M, Castells, M 2012, ‘The Future of Journalism: Networked Journalism’, International Journal of Communication vol.6, no.1, pp2923–2938, accessed 23/4/2014, http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/viewFile/1750/832.

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