The Changes of Media Landscape in Malaysia: How Citizen Journalism Poses Threats to Traditional Media

Malia Taibi, Teh Yi Na


The rise of Internet and social media have provided alternative ways for people to access information.  Communication technologies have given a new platform for ordinary people outside of the journalism profession to become content creators instead of content users. This gives rise to citizen journalism as ordinary people can publish, share, discuss and debate about news and stories in a global sphere with others. While some might view this trend as a positive way in dissiminating information, citizen journalism is facing numerous criticism as people are questioning their credibility regarding the news sources and the ethical code of practice that they use when collecting information. This study aims to highlight the changes taking place in Malaysian media landscape in response to citizen journalism as well as the threats towards mainstream journalism. Data was collected through a qualitative in-depth interview method with five journalists working in the mainstream news organizations in Malaysia. All respondents have vast experience in journalism, both in traditional newsroom and online news portal setting.  The results indicated that changes occurring in the media landscape are due to several reasons namely instant gratification of news; changed mode of transmission; new styles of news writing; open and freer media environment and change of gate-keeping process. Threats posed by citizen journalism to traditional media are commercial impact, stealing of credits and stiff competition.  It was concluded that newsrooms and journalists have to change in order to face the challenges posed by citizen journalism.


Keywords: Mainstream media, citizen journalism, media landscape, Internet, threats.

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