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SEARCH 11 (2) 2019


Barisan Nasional's GE14 campaign materials: A reversed third-person effect
Syed Arabi Idid  & * Rizwanah Souket

Abstract:

The third-person effect theory postulates that respondents would deny media’s direct effect on themselves but would perceive the same media as having a greater effect on others. A “reverse” third-person effect happens when the intended influence is perceived to be desirable or intelligent on oneself. This perception is sometimes referred to as the “first-person” effect claiming that people perceive greater communication influence on themselves than on others. The third-person effect has been studied on cross sections of populations but it is not clear what the effects would be if examined on a longitudinal basis. Applying this paradigm to the Malaysian voter scenario in the 2013 general elections, Idid and Souket (2014) studied the influence of Barisan Nasional’s (BN) political campaign literature on BN voters under two categories- “self” which included themselves, their family, and like party supporters and “others” that included opposition supporters and undecided voters. The study found that BN supporters displayed a positive confidence on the influence of BN’s campaign materials on self (88%) and on others (77%). Hence, a reversed thirdperson effect, that is, a first-person effect was observed for the perceived level of influence of BN’s political communication materials on BN voters. This finding was attributed to the confidence and positive sentiment of BN voters towards their own party communication materials, finding the materials desirable and favourable. The present study investigated the effect of BN’s political campaign literature on BN voters and opposition voters in the recent 2018 general election. The findings of Idid and Souket (2014) study on the 2013 election were then compared to the current study. The study posits that voter confidence is an important factor in predicting voter influence and perceived effect on others that may result in a third-person effect or a reversed third-person effect given two different contextual situations. This longitudinal study addresses the issue of the thirdperson effect during the periods when BN was strong (2013) and when it lost its dominant position in Malaysian politics (2018).

Keywords: elections, media effects, third-person effect, politics, voter behaviour

Pages: 1-19 | First Published: 24 June 2019

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SEARCH 11 (2) 2019


Political parallelism and the representation of Islam and Muslims in the Australian Press
* Muhammad Junaid Ghauri

Abstract:

Recent studies conducted in the UK, US, and in few other European countries have revealed a prominent political parallelism phenomenon in the news coverage of Islam and Muslims. The studies have evidenced that the coverage of Islam and Muslims is widely influenced by the ideological leanings of the newspapers. This paper sets out to explore whether the ideological differences of the Australian newspapers are reflected in the coverage of Islam and Muslims from January 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017. Employing Van Dijk’s (1998b) ideological square and lexicalization approaches within the CDA paradigm, this study examined editorials from two leading Australian newspapers. The findings validate the existence of the political parallelism phenomenon in the editorial contents of the selected newspapers representing Islam and Muslims. The findings show that The Australian, which is a “rightist” or “conservative” newspaper, toed the line of “right-wing” political parties and politicians such as Ms. Pauline and Mr. Turnbull, portrayed Islam and Muslims in an overwhelmingly negative way, appreciated anti-immigration policies, criticized those who support accepting refugees, highlighted violence in Muslims countries, and collectivized Muslims while commenting on terrorist attacks in the West. On the other hand, The Age, which is a “leftist” or “centre-left” newspaper, criticized the “far-rights” for appreciating and supporting the “rightist or conservative” policies against Muslims, advocated the “leftist or progressive or liberal” stance, portrayed Islam and Muslims in a positive, supportive and balanced way, and advocated understanding, harmony and cohesion in Australia.

Keywords: political parallelism, Islam, Muslims, ideological square, lexicalization

Pages: 21-37 | First Published: 8 July 2019

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SEARCH 11 (2) 2019


Do you have a link? The effects of piracy and online streaming services on sharing practices of television media
* Benjamin Yew Hoong Loh

Abstract:

The television media industry was and still is experiencing a major disruption from the advent of online streaming services. These video-on-demand (VOD) streaming services have afforded television media users with far greater agency and control over their television media. Pirated media has also benefited from these technologies and remains a constant within the television media eco system. Many studies have explored the effects of VOD services and its impact on how people watch television. There is also much work focused on how pirated media is damaging the industry or how people justify their use of pirated media. This paper instead will focus on how the use of VOD services has greatly changed the way users share television media, especially with pirated media and the growing trend of sharing VOD accounts. As the sharing of media is no longer limited to physical media such as VHS and DVD but has expanded to the sharing of VOD accounts and pirated media links. These two developments afford and cause the emergence of novel ways in which contemporary media users consume and share media. The findings are based on an interview study with 30 participants that was conducted in Malaysia and Singapore. The sharing of media has evolved to become the sharing of access and results in the creation of new types of media sharers. A new media user emerges that can consume media wholly for free purely through sharing from their social contacts.

Keywords: media studies, online streaming, media sharing, media piracy

Pages: 41-55 | First Published: 19 July 2019

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SEARCH 11 (2) 2019


Online threats and risky behaviour from the perspective of Malaysian youths
* Moniza Waheed

Abstract:

The usage of the internet has become inevitable in this day and age. While there are many benefits that come with its usage, there is also a lot of harm, particularly for adolescents. While there are ample studies proving this, there are no known studies which explain the indulgence of online risky behaviour from the perspective of the youth. Therefore, the main aim of this study is to understand the issue of online threats from the Malaysian youths’ perspective. Findings from four focus group discussions consisting of 32 adolescents from urban and rural secondary schools in Malaysia show that despite displaying an understanding of the meaning of online threats, adoslescents still indulge in risky behaviour online. They are found to treat the online space as a socializing platform where social prestige is sought. Additionally, some youths from the rural area are found to be victims of cyberbullying, while some from the urban area are the culprits who commit the act. Findings also show that “befriending strangers online” and “cyberbullying” are hot topics discussed among the youth. Hence, these topic areas should receive sufficient attention in future policymaking and practices undertaken by the relevant agencies in Malaysia.

Keywords: adolescents, cyberbullying, online threats, risky behaviour, youth

Pages: 57-71 | First Published: 24 June 2019

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SEARCH 11 (2) 2019


Media reporting of suicide: A comparative framing analysis of Malaysian newspapers
* Justin Victor, Jenny Heng Gek Koon, G. Manickam Govindaraju, Tan Poh Ling, Usha Devi Rajaratnam & Yang Lai Fong

Abstract:

In the next ten years, suicide cases will emerge as the second highest cause of death in Malaysia (MOH). The World Health Organization cautions that media coverage of suicide could heighten the incidences of suicide or generate a protective effect by responsible media reporting. In light of the role of media, and how the reach of mainstream articles gets amplified through new media, the need to study suicide reports is imperative. This study employed a framing analysis on suicide-related articles that were published in the The Star, Kosmo, Sin Chiew Daily and Malaysia Nanban, each being the largest circulating publications in their respective languages, and representative of major ethnic groups in Malaysia. Suicide news articles for a 5-year period from 2013-2018 were studied to ascertain whether they add to suicide contagion or instead educate and raise the awareness of the public. It was found that most of the reporting were objective but included details of the methods of the suicide. Only very few articles mentioned where and how to get help. This indicates a need for journalist to be more aware of suicide reporting guidelines and adhere to them. Additionally there was a marked difference in the number of articles that emerged in the period with The Star and Sin Chiew Daily having the highest and Kosmo, the lowest. These difference raise questions for further research into ethnic and cultural differences that influence such reporting.

Keywords: framing, suicide coverage, content analysis, newspapers, comparative analysis

Pages: 73-88 | First Published: 24 July 2019

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SEARCH 11 (2) 2019


Influence of satirical media content on orientation to politics among Nigerian youths
* Lambe Kayode Mustapha, Bahiyah Omar & Shukurat Abiola Atoloye

Abstract:

This study investigates the political enculturation roles of mediated political satire and comedy in a developing democratic milieu. Amidst anxieties and controversies about whether increasing dominance of political satire in the media intensifies political apathy or stimulate political interest among the youth, we surveyed 366 undergraduates in two universities in North Central Nigeria to test the predictive power of exposure to mediated political satire on young people’s political knowledge and attitude towards politics. Findings confirm the pedagogical utility of political satire for youth political socialisation and the ability of the content to prime positive orientation to politics. Importantly, the media with higher democratic features are found to be better predictors of youth political behaviour, through mediated political satire, than state-owned and elite-dominated mainstream media. These results highlight the need to intensify democratisation of the media space in order to attract cynical youths who are critical to sustenance and consolidation of democratic values in the African largest democracy.

Keywords: mediated political satire, comedy, politics, public affairs, Nigerian youths

Pages: 91-110 | First Published: 8 July 2019

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SEARCH 11 (2) 2019


Framing of the 1MDB financial scandal: A comparative study of the coverage by The Star and Malaysiakini
Thanaraj Murudi  & * Su-Hie Ting

Abstract:

This paper looks at the framing of a financial scandal involving top government officials by a mainstream news medium (The Star) and an alternative news medium (Malaysiakini) before the historic change of the country’s ruling party. In particular, the paper reveals why a financial scandal became politicised, and how a controversial issue was framed within the context of lawsuit threats and newspaper permit suspension. A total of 815 straight news articles from 1 July to 30 September 2016 published in The Star (185 articles) and Malaysiakini (630 articles) were analysed. The quantitative content analysis revealed that headlines generally contained two to three dimensions, and The Star had typically longer and more multi-dimensional headlines. The political, constitution and jurisprudence dimensions dominated the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) news headlines, accounting for 56.7% of 1,619 dimensions identified. Although 1MDB was a financial scandal, only Malaysiakini framed it as such while The Star downplayed the effect of the alleged embezzlement of 1MDB funds on the Malaysian economy. As for the crime and justice dimension, The Star focused on details of the unfolding events whereas Malaysiakini highlighted suspects of the alleged embezzlement and sacking of high-ranking government officers assisting the investigation. There is a stark contrast evident in the framing of the morality dimension of 1MDB news articles with The Star presenting the government voice, whereas Malaysiakini carried the voice of the opposition leaders and religious heads. The findings indicate that The Star was more guarded in framing 1MDB news compared to Malaysiakini.

Keywords: The Star, Malaysiakini, framing, 1MDB, financial scandal

Pages: 113-126 | First Published: 24 June 2019

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SEARCH 11 (2) 2019


A political discourse analysis of the twitter posts of @najibrazak prior to 2018 general elections
* Mohd Faizal Kasmani

Abstract:

The microblogging site Twitter gives politicians greater autonomy and enables them to operate individually by easily communicating online and on a personal level with the public. Based on the framework of Political Discourse Analysis, this article analyses the language use on the Twitter posts of former Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak – @NajibRazak. This paper attempts to discern discursive practices that may produce and reproduce unequal power relations between politicians and the public. This is done through analyses at both topical or macro level and lexical or micro level. Findings show that Najib’s tweets convey implicit common sense assumptions, which highlight a paternalistic and government-knows-best approach that is known as a common characteristic of Asian governance.

Keywords: Twitter, political communication, Malaysia, political discourse analysis, critical discourse analysis

Pages: 129-143 | First Published: 8 July 2019

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