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SEARCH 10 (1) 2018


Framing the Sustainable Development Goals in Malaysian Online News
* Sharafa Dauda & Nik Norma Nik Hasan

Abstract:

This article uses the News Framing theory to examine how Malaysian online newspapers framed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a universal set of development targets seeking to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. This aligns with the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020) and research already shows that Malaysians exhibit an intensive online news consumption behavior. Hence, Malaysian online newspapers can assign importance to developmental issues and raise them to the planes of national discourse. Therefore, the study uses thematic analysis to explore a census of 16 English Language news on the SDGs in six Malaysian online newspapers. The significant themes from the findings appeared in five broad themes: economy, education, environment, infrastructure and poverty. These however, intermingled with all the 17SDGs and 11MP. Salience was attributed to Malaysian development agendas through routinely used key words and phrases, news elements and news sources. This suggests that the sampled Malaysian online newspapers served a watchdog role. However, only alternative online newspapers (Free Malaysia Today and Malaysiakini) highlighted both positive and negative development indices, despite Malaysia’s developing nation status. Thus, the sampled mainstream media (The Star Online, New Straits Times, Malay Mail Online and Borneo Post Online) failed to utilize their strategic position and use news angles to appraise and convey fundamental development challenges that can propel the attainment of Malaysia’s development agenda. Consequently, this portrayed Malaysia as a nation without development challenges and suggested that the above mainstream online newspapers lacked editorial independence. In addition, all the online newspapers in the study narrowed attribution of information to few news sources, thereby excluding competing accounts. This neglected a very important news routine of fact checking from multiple sources. It also raises questions on the credibility of the information, diversity of views and speculates on the possibility of bias.

Keywords: Malaysia, sustainable development goals, development journalism, content analysis

Pages: 1-24 | First Published: 1 March 2018

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SEARCH 10 (1) 2018


Shared Causal Theories about Film Violence and Violent Behaviour: Findings from Young Malaysian Indians
Ramachandran Ponnan, * Antoon De Rycker, Yang Lai Fong & Mohammad Abeer Syed

Abstract:

Film is an essential part of the fabric of Indian communities, also in Malaysia. Local media and social commentary frequently argue that film violence causes violent or aggressive behaviour, especially among Malaysian Indian youths. This article examines to what extent the young Indian filmgoers themselves subscribe to this view. The research approach consists of a survey questionnaire, which was administered in the first half of 2016 among 360 young Indian filmgoers, largely from urban peripherals in West Malaysia. Correlational and regression analyses show that for most young Malaysian Indians, the social cognitions about film violence and violence are broadly consistent with the academic literature and the catalyst model of violent crime. The strongest agreement was found for the constructive role of parents in moderating the potential negative effects of film violence. Only few young Indian filmgoers downplay the importance of personal and situational factors (such as parental involvement) and instead associate violent behaviour directly and immediately with violent film content. Further analysis suggests that the shared cognitions – i.e. their “theories” or everyday social explanations – regarding film violence and real violence are not a cultural invariant but largely restricted to younger and less educated Indian filmgoers as well as those from less privileged socio-economic backgrounds. Additionally, there is no evidence either that a culturally predominant cognitive style would account for those shared cognitions; rather, young Malaysian Indians display both holistic and analytic styles when thinking about mediated and real violence. Implications for film censorship and education will be briefly explored.

Keywords: violent films, the catalyst model of violent crime, cultural cognitive theory, Malaysian Indians, aggressive behaviour

Pages: 25-52 | First Published: 1 March 2018

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SEARCH 10 (1) 2018


The Use and Effectiveness of Facebook in Small-Scale Volunteer Organisation for Refugee Children’s Education in Malaysia
* Sahar Shekaliu, Siti Ezaleila Mustafa, Hamedi M. Adnan & Jarret Guajardo

Abstract:

How is a small-scale volunteer organization in Malaysia utilizing Facebook to engage the Malaysian public in volunteer work for refugee children’s education? This paper addresses this question by investigating the social media use of “Let’s Tutor a Refugee Child”. By using quantitative content analysis and social media analytics, this study analyzes the Facebook use on both message level and organization level. This study found that there is a salient divide between the different types of social media content and the interaction created online. It also found that the prevalence of advocacy messages based on the social media advocacy pyramid is very different. Over half of the all Facebook posts by volunteer organization fall into the “Information” category, followed by the “Action” category. “Community-building” posts seem to be neglected. With regards to the effectiveness of social media, this study found that (a) although volunteer organizations have managed to reach a significant number of members; they have failed to keep their members active on social media, (b) volunteer organization are not fully exploiting dialogical affordance of social media, and (c) volunteer organization have failed to get more members stepping up to action. This study contributes to social media literature by integrating different theories to show the utilization of social media by small-scale volunteer organizations.

Keywords: Social Media advocacy, Facebook online communities, dialogic communication, Refugee Children education, volunteerism

Pages: 53-78 | First Published: 1 March 2018

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SEARCH 10 (1) 2018


The Effects of Experiential Learning on Teaching Perception and Learning Approaches among Public Relations Students
* Teoh Hee Chong & Yap Teng Teng

Abstract:

The public relations practice in Malaysia has received criticism for not reaching the level of sophistication and development of its overseas counterparts. In view of this, higher education institutions that offer public relations courses in Malaysia have continuously been involved in efforts to improve the occupational standing and prestige of the public relations industry. This study aims to examine the effects of experiential learning practices on teaching perception and learning approaches among public relations students. The current study implemented an action research with a causal-comparative research design. Two cohorts of public relations students with 36 students for 2014 and 58 students for 2015 Bachelor’s degrees were selected to investigate the effects of experiential learning teaching design on students’ perception of teaching and their approaches to learning. The findings of the study indicated that experiential learning has positive impacts on both the teaching perceptions and the learning approaches selected by the students. Overall, students who were exposed to the experiential learning teaching approach had a greater tendency to apply a deep approach in their learning compared with those who learn in the context of the traditional lecture-plus-discussion classroom. In addition, the students showed more interest, were more engaged, and demonstrated more willingness to learn in the experiential learning classroom. The findings of the study suggest that experiential learning could be embedded into the curricula of public relations courses. Students’ learning can ultimately be enhanced by incorporating a suitable assessment approach and teaching strategies that highlight experiential learning.

Keywords: experiential learning; teaching approaches; student approaches to learning; public relations

Pages: 79-108 | First Published: 1 March 2018

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