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SEARCH 6 (1) 2014


Representation of International Views on the 2009 Iranian Election: A Study of BBC World News and Al Jazeera English
Mohd Faizal Kasmani

Abstract:

This paper provides a comparative analysis on the news reporting style of BBC World News (BBCWN) and Al Jazeera English (AJE). BBCWN was selected to represent the mainstream Western group of global media traffic, and AJE was selected to represent the contra-flow group of global news media. The global event of the 2009 Iranian presidential election was chosen as a case study. The conceptual framework of this study was based on the global media thesis of flow and counter-flow in 24- hour news channels. The central question of the thesis investigates how international views were reflected in the BBCWN and AJE coverage. The news reporting of the 2009 presidential election by both networks were subjected to the qualitative method of discourse analysis. The study found that the BBCWN’s coverage represented more voices from the US and the UK and tended to highlight the tension between Iran and the West more. In contrast, AJE’s coverage tended to play down the Iran vs the West confrontation. The network sometimes took a more anti-Western stance by highlighting the view from Russia that suggests the role of Western powers in orchestrating the postelection protests.

Keywords: Global news, critical discourse analysis, BBC, Al Jazeera, Iran

Pages: 1-23 | First Published: 1 March 2014

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SEARCH 6 (1) 2014


Role of Television in the Formation of Transcultural Identities
C.N. Eswari

Abstract:

Negotiations of identity and conceptualisation of home has become a dynamic and complex process for people living in geographical locations different to their homeland. To overcome the trauma of geographical and cultural dislocations caused by migration, the diasporic communities cling on to the memories of their original homes. The advent of the satellite television channels enables them to view ethnic media programmes and maintain ties with their homeland. Simultaneously, they find it impossible to insulate themselves against the mainstream media they encounter in their everyday lives which familiarize them with the local culture. The global media also offer them an objective view of the world. This paper explores the impact of these diverse cultural interactions on the identity formation of the diasporic community. For this purpose, six Indians who had migrated to the United States were chosen as the target group. In-depth interviews were conducted through e-mails/telephone/ Skype/FaceTime to collect data regarding their television viewing habits. Analysis of the data showed that although ethnic programmes aired through satellite television satisfied their longing for “home”, the interviewees soon realized that it did not have much relevance to their lived experiences. The data also revealed that they were drawn into watching American and transnational television programmes that familiarised them with the western culture. The main argument presented in this paper is that television provides the diasporic communities a space for negotiating cultures and helps in creating their transcultural identities.

Keywords: Diaspora, media, multiculturalism, transcultural identities

Pages: 25-39 | First Published: 1 March 2014

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SEARCH 6 (1) 2014


Emotional Arousal Drives Virality: An Exploratory Study on the Social Sharing of Domestic Political Videos by Malaysian Urban Internet Users
Hardip Singh Rekhraj & * Sheila Yvonne Jayasainan

Abstract:

This exploratory study endeavours to investigate human emotions as a probable determinant of virality on online social networking sites, specifically during the campaigning period of the 13th Malaysian General Election (GE) (3 April – 4 May 2013). While numerous studies have been dedicated to unfolding the contributing factors of online virality, this research focuses on viral politics which attempts to recognize the ways in which politically-related content, particularly videos, are disseminated and shared through social networks in cyberspace. Departing from the conventional content analysis method which determines the properties of a message that makes it viral, this qualitative study employed the online depth interview method on 31 temporal elites who assisted in achieving this study’s objective of determining human emotions as an inducer of viral political videos. The respondents are known to be the drivers of viral politics – they are well-connected, educated and motivated individuals who play an active role in politics but not necessarily through their involvement in a political party or interest group. The online depth interview was made up of semi-structured questions and data collected were analysed using themes and sub-themes that emerged to discover patterns that support human emotions as a probable (sole) determinant of social transmission and virality on social networking sites. The findings indicated that Malaysian urban social network users actively viewed and engaged with political videos during the pre-GE13 period. In addition, the findings also revealed the tendency of human emotions being the sole determinant of social transmission and virality in cyberspace. Evidently, this research has debunked the myth that negatively-perceived political content triggers greater virality as the respondents indicated otherwise.

Keywords: viral politics, temporal elites, emotional arousal, online social networking, social presence theory, online disinhibition effect

Pages: 41-63 | First Published: 1 March 2014

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SEARCH 6 (1) 2014


Customer Perception of Corporate Communication via Weblogs: A Case Study on a Budget Airline
* Cheah Shu Xu, G. V. Nair, P. Thinavan & Vincent Wee Eng Kim

Abstract:

It is evident that the advent of new media has transformed the way corporations communicate with their stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement using weblogs, Facebook, Twitter and others are now the norm rather than the exception. Current research bears evidence that several businesses such as the airlines and hotel industry are using weblogs to promote their brand and foster a community of business travellers. In the Malaysian context, AirAsia is the first local budget private airline to use weblog to undertake every single transaction with its customers, thereby making it pertinent to evaluate how customers perceive AirAsia’s weblog services. Three hypotheses which were tested are as follows: there is a positive correlation between customer perception of ease of use and effectiveness of the weblog’s publishing system; there is a positive correlation between customer perception of interactivity and effectiveness of weblog’s comment system and finally, there is a positive correlation between customer’s perception of trustworthiness and effectiveness of weblog’s blogroll and hyperlinks. This study used the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) based on previous studies by Sledgianowski & Kulviwat (2009); Ilie et. al. (2005) and Chiou (2004) to examine a weblog’s effectiveness. To achieve the objective of this study, quantitative non-probability purposive sampling method was used to adequate representation of the sample respondents. The survey was conducted with a random sample (n=333) of Malaysian Facebook social media users of AirAsia. The dependent variable (represented by the weblog publishing system, comment system and blogroll and hyperlinks) was measured against the independent variable (represented in the ease of use, interactivity and trustworthiness) using Pearson’s correlation test. Results indicated that a significant positive correlation exists between all independent and dependent variables.

Keywords: Corporate communications, customer perception, weblog effectiveness

Pages: 65-78 | First Published: 1 March 2014

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SEARCH 6 (1) 2014


A Comparative Analysis on Hijab Wearing in Malaysian Muslimah Magazines
Nurzihan Hassim

Abstract:

This paper examines the renewed perception of Muslim women through the attributes of two Malaysian Muslimah (female Muslim) magazines. Through the years, Islamic magazines have evolved but the objective to enrich Muslim women with religious knowledge is inextricably maintained. An example is Nur, a popular monthly magazine with a focus on female modesty which has received positive response in the last decade. However, in June 2012, its publisher Karangkraf introduced Hijabista, a more “contemporary” Muslimah monthly amidst the proliferation of hijab trends in the global media. This new magazine aims to penetrate the urban community by emphasising on the fashionable and glamorous aspects of hijab wearing. As such, its stylish issues posed minimal discussions on religiosity and the role of hijab as a marker of piety. This paper applied a content analysis approach to interpret articles and related visuals produced by both Nur and Hijabista through the “framing” theoretical framework. Findings of the study revealed dissimilarities between the two magazines that were contributed by the growing preoccupation of the modern hijab. The mainstreaming of this hijab culture was presented largely in Hijabista through the recursive highlights on elite opinion leaders and fashion editorials of the hijab that are unfavourable to a conventional Muslimah. Findings also included analyses of predominant themes and messages that enhance the cultural hegemony of the modern hijab in the Malaysian media sphere.

Keywords: Cultural identity, media effects, framing, content analysis, hijab

Pages: 79-96 | First Published: 1 March 2014

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SEARCH 6 (1) 2014


Framing the Malaysian Brain Drain: A Comparison between the Reporting Styles of The Star Online vs Malaysiakini
Winston Lim Teng Liang

Abstract:

The brain drain phenomenon, otherwise known as human capital flight or human capital outflow, is an issue widely covered by both the mainstream and the alternative media. A 2011 World Bank report stated that Malaysians residing overseas are likely to have reached one million in 2010, a third of this figure (approximately 335,000) estimated as a result of the brain drain. This paper compares the reporting style of The Star Online, a mainstream English language online news portal with that of Malaysiakini, an alternative news portal using content analysis. This study employed framing as a theoretical framework to observe how the two news portals potrayed the brain drain phenomenon and related issues as well as the most prominent frames used in their news reporting.

Keywords: brain drain, framing analysis, human capital outflow, emigration, online media

Pages: 97-121 | First Published: 1 March 2014

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