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SEARCH 1 2009


The State and the Citizen: Application of Lakoff’s ‘Strict Father’ Mode to the Malaysian Political Arena
Lokasundari Vijaya Sankar

Abstract:

It is a researched fact that the print media has powerful influence over its readers. In Malaysia the mainstream newspapers are owned by those connected to the powerful political parties that form the government. In addition, the Printing Presses Act, 1984 acts as a deterrent to mainstream media from printing information generally perceived by the ruling administration as offensive, seditious or sensitive (Sedition Act, 1970), a threat to national security (Internal Security Act, 1960) or an official secret of national importance (Official Secrets Act, 1986) because licenses need to be renewed annually. This study shows how the ruling government is able to instil fear among its citizens through the print media by imposing obligations on citizens in a ‘Strict Father’ mode. The study looks at selected articles published in a mainstream daily, The Star, in relation to its reporting strategy of the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) issue from November 2007 to March 2008. A metaphorical analysis following the ideas outlined by Lakoff is made of the content of the articles studied.

Keywords: Discourse analysis, metaphor analysis, the state and the citizen

Pages: 1-15 | First Published: 1 March 2009

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SEARCH 1 2009


Framing Analysis of a Conflict: War / Peace Journalism
Nicole Yang Lai Fong

Abstract:

The keris or kris is a Malay or Indonesian dagger. The wielding of keris was introduced at the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) Youth general assembly in 2005. Following that, during the UMNO Youth general assembly in 2006, some controversial statements were made by several delegates. After the 8 March 2008 political tsunami, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and Malaysian People’s Movement Party (Gerakan) leaders blamed UMNO for their electoral debacle, in particular the insensitivity shown by UMNO leaders like Hishammuddin for his provocative keris wielding action at UMNO Youth general assemblies. Hishammuddin also admitted that his raising of the keris was among the causes of Barisan Nasional’s poor performance in the general election. He apologised to the non-Malays for raising fear of a symbol which was not his intention and to the Malays for not being able to uphold their symbol of heritage. Since the keris wielding incident and subsequent apology by Hishammuddin, many things have been said about the issues and ethnic relations in the mainstream media, online newspapers and blogs. Based on a content analysis of news items from Sin Chew Daily, the Chinese daily newspaper with the largest circulation in Malaysia, this study investigated the extent of coverage as well as the actualisation of war/peace journalism frames in Sin Chew Daily’s coverage of the keris wielding incident in 2007 and subsequent apology by Hishammuddin in 2008. The theoretical framework was built on war/peace journalism and framing theories. It was found that both the keris wielding incident and the subsequent apology were not given much publicity by Sin Chew Daily, and therefore might not be viewed as important in the eyes of its readers. The dominant frame used in the coverage of keris wielding was war journalism; however the dominant frame used in the coverage of the subsequent apology was shared equally by war journalism and neutral frame.

Keywords: Conflict reporting, framing theory, war/peace journalism

Pages: 17-32 | First Published: 1 March 2009

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Role of Traditional and Online Media in the 12th General Election, Malaysia
Usha Devi Rajaratnam

Abstract:

Malaysia recently concluded its 12th General Election in March 2008. The ruling coalition, National Front (Barisan Nasional) has been in power for the past 50 years, since independence in 1957. However this election proved to be a ‘political tsunami’ as the party lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament as well as lost its control in five out of the thirteen states in the country to the Opposition, People’s Alliance (Pakatan Rakyat), something unprecedented in the history of political development in Malaysia. This study compares the role of the mainstream media against the online media. Online media though in existence in Malaysia since the early 1990s came to light in 1998 after the arrest and prosecution of former Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim for corruption and sexual misconduct charges. Currently, Anwar Ibrahim is the Adviser to the People’s Alliance. Mainstream media such as The Star newspaper will be compared alongside online media, Malaysiakini, the country’s first commercial online newspaper through a content analysis. A comparative study of the news articles of both the media throughout the campaign period (24 February – 7 March 2008) will be studied. Utilising the theoretical framework of Agenda Setting, The Star and Malaysiakini will be tested to see the extent of the dominant role played by the Agenda Setting theory in deciding the articles that are published.

Keywords: Agenda Setting, General Election, online media, traditional media

Pages: 33-58 | First Published: 1 March 2009

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Election and Ethnicity: a Comparative Analysis of Local Language Dailies and the Prevalence of Ethnic-Based Discourses during the 2008 Malaysian General Election
Azmyl Md Yusof

Abstract:

The major mainstream newspapers in Malaysia are owned and/or under the control of the parties of the ruling coalition government, the National Front (Barisan Nasional). The 12th Malaysian election saw the National Front losing its two-thirds majority hence weakening its hegemony over the Malaysian public sphere. The negotiations articulated in the mainstream media are good starting points to observe the ruling class’s presentation of ideas and justification of their dominance and leadership, notably in times of crisis. The concept of hegemony has been used to describe and analyse how modern capitalist societies were organised, or aimed to be organised, in the past and the present, and that hegemonic leadership involves developing intellectual, moral and philosophical consent from all major groups in a nation. It is important to contextualise the fact that the ruling coalition government is helmed by three ethnic-based political parties. This research studies the progress or changes in the post-election reporting style and how the print mainstream media reacted during the 12th General Election. The study looks at selected post-election headline news stories published in the English mainstream daily New Straits Times and the Malay mainstream daily Utusan Malaysia (and their week-end editions New Sunday Times and Mingguan Malaysia) as case studies to explore how the rhetoric of ethnicity is an active undercurrent in any reading of the Malaysian mainstream media.

Keywords: Hegemony, ideology, Malaysia, media, politics

Pages: 59-77 | First Published: 1 March 2009

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Impact of Branding on Gen Y’s Choice of Clothing
Prasana Rosaline Fernandez

Abstract:

This study focuses on the impact of branding on Gen Y’s choice of clothing as it is hypothesised that they are brand conscious. This research looks specifically at college students aged between 18-24 years old located in the Klang Valley. This study aims to determine if this group of Gen Y are brand conscious in their choice of clothing. Survey questionnaires were developed to obtain quantitative data from one hundred respondents for statistical analysis and personal interviews were conducted on eight interviewees for qualitative implications. The findings suggest that Gen Y are brand conscious as the right choice of clothing helps them create an image and identity for themselves. Peer influence plays a crucial role in their choice of brands as it aids in their socialisation process. In addition, advertising is an important variable in conferring brand values and establishing an image for the brand. Celebrity endorsements have a huge impact on branded clothing too as they promote certain attributes like image, quality and status. The results of this study are, however, limited as it was conducted within a single segment. In addition, the research does not follow the individuals over time to see how brand choices change. The researcher recommends that to retain Gen Y’s loyalty, brand managers need to build an emotional attachment to make the brand special and bring lasting competitive advantage. Additionally, advertising should be used to not only create awareness but influence brand image and preference. A buzz should be created through celebrity endorsement to reach out to this segment. Gen Y establishes their brand preferences between the ages of 15 and 25 and therefore targeting this consumer group is rewarding because with careful promotions marketers can create a pool of brand loyal customers for the future. However, young people do not like being manipulated by marketers, have short attention spans and are media-savvy in choosing what messages they wish to receive. Therefore, marketers of branded clothing need to act ethically as brands should hold up a window, not a mirror, and let youth understand the brand and decide for themselves.

Keywords: Advertising, brand, celebrity endorsement, clothing, Gen Y, peer influence

Pages: 79-95 | First Published: 1 March 2009

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SEARCH 1 2009


Contemporary Hollywood Cinema (2005 ed.); Steve Neale and Murray Smith New York: CSLI, 1998, Routledge
Winston Lim

Pages: 99 | First Published: 1 March 2009

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SEARCH 1 2009


Mindset: The New Psychology of Success; Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. New York: 2007, Ballantine Books
Natasha MH

Pages: 99 | First Published: 1 March 2009

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